Walker has kept his squad busy throughout June, beginning with the Carrollton Team Camp at the start of the month, while HC has also competed at team camps at Bowdon, Villa Rica, Cass, North Paulding, the University of West Georgia and then wrapping up action at the University of Georgia.
By the time all is said and done, Walker expected to get 40 games in this summer, a rigorous schedule he felt was necessary coming off a 1-25 campaign last year.
“We’re trying to get experience and we’re trying to learn how to be one with another, know where each other’s going to be and where our shots are going to come from and how to work together on defense,” Walker said.
The Rebels return the bulk of their roster, led by rising seniors and returning top scorers Nii-Okai Reindorf and Lane Fortune, along with senior point guard Mitchell Taylor.
“A year in the program is significant. I had some guys really working hard in the offseason to improve their game. Nii-Okai Reindorf really stands out. He’s a senior. He’ll be our leader and our captain. His game is better now than it was at this point last year. Then I’ve got Lane Fortune back, who was our leading scorer. Mitchell Taylor’s a returning starter. So those will be our seniors this year,” Walker said.
The Haralson County frontcourt will also get a huge boost by the return of Seth Neeley, a 6-foot-6 power forward that opted not to play last season.
“We’re happy with it. We’ve got a lot of returning players and we’ve got one coming back that didn’t play last year that’s really going to help us in Seth Neeley. So a 6-6 player inside is going to be a big factor offensively and defensively,” Walker said.
The Rebel coach also noted that the junior class has really been working hard this summer and made tremendous strides, as well. Walker added it will be interesting to see how they perform in a more prominent varsity role this year.
As for their new region, the Rebels remain in Class AAA under reclassification, but they move into Region 4-AAA — something Walker couldn’t be happier about.
Haralson County will mix it up with former region foe Central, along with Rockmart, Chapel Hill, Callaway, Douglass, Jackson of Atlanta and BEST Academy.
“We’re thrilled about our new region. It’s not as much the teams that we’re picking up, but the teams that we’re leaving behind. We don’t have to play Carrollton and LaGrange and Troup and Shaw next year. That’s exciting. Really, us and Central are the only triple-A schools that were triple-A schools last year. Everybody else in our region is either coming down from AAAA or coming up from AA,” Walker said. “So it’s pretty much a newly-created region. We don’t really know what to expect, but it can’t be as bad as what we left.”