Baylor head basketball coach Austin Clark can take solace knowing that championships are won in February and March, not in November. To the Red Raider program, that's a good thing because they don't have a whole lot to work with at the current point.
Due to the success of the Baylor, South Pittsburg and Calhoun football teams, numbers have become an issue for their respective basketball programs. The coaches have found themselves doing other things while awaiting their football additions, and fundamentals have become a rallying cry at current practices at both schools.
The Calhoun program is missing 13 of their 15 varsity team members, while the Yellow Jacket football team prepares for their Friday matchup against Dublin in the quarterfinals of the Class 2A playoffs. Coach Derrick Broom's team won't play their first game until December 6th, same as Baylor and South Pittsburg, whose girls' basketball coach Danny Wilson is also the football team's defensive coordinator.
"A lot of coaches probably look at it as a bad thing, but I think it's a positive," Broom said. "I'm able to go out and scout other teams several times before we actually play them."
Clark noted that he only has five varsity team members. As a result, the team had to cancel their first scheduled game last week, and they will also play Howard on the 6th.
"There's not really a whole lot that we can do in practice right now," Clark said. "The guys we currently have might be a little ahead, but I'm not putting in a lot, because we would just have to re-teach it all once we got the football players back.
"It's a good problem to have, though. If it took three more weeks, we're fortunate enough to still have those guys playing. I know they've adopted the slogan of 'Unfinished Business' and I hope they'll be able to bring the championship home this year."
The Boyd-Buchanan and Ridgeland football seasons came to an end in the playoffs this past weekend. Boyd-Buchanan coach Cole Rose said he gave his team the freedom to come back as they pleased after the top-ranked Bucs lost a heartbreaking 21-20 loss to Friendship Christian in the Class 2A state quarterfinals. Rose gained eight players from the football team.
"I let them know that they could come back when they were emotionally ready," Rose said. "We had a couple that were at practice Monday, and we had all of the players at Wednesday's practice. They weren't lagging or out there with a down mindset, but I know they were heartbroken about how the season ended."
After a couple seasons of seasons of playing Thanksgiving tournaments, Rose was in attendance at the Ridgeland basketball tournament scouting -- not playing.
"It's not that it was a bad experience, but it didn't help us because we hadn't had any practices or games with the whole team," Rose said. "I knew we would get those guys back in the next couple weeks, so we wanted the chance to have some practices together and integrate those players into the team."