A new beginning at KFHS

Published 8:49 pm Saturday, November 30, 2013

The boys’ basketball team at King’s Fork High School enters the 2013-14 season having said goodbye to eight graduates from last year’s squad that went 23-5 and advanced as far as the regional semifinals.

That group of eight included most of the Bulldogs’ biggest play-makers, but head coach Josh Worrell is far from nervous about his team’s future. This is a part of coaching he relishes.

King’s Fork High School junior point guard Justin Chicot is expected to be a difference-maker for the Bulldogs this year as a communicator on the floor.

King’s Fork High School junior point guard Justin Chicot is expected to be a difference-maker for the Bulldogs this year as a communicator on the floor.

“I think it’s fun,” he said. “It’s entertaining to see new kids emerge and go into roles that you think they can do.”

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The Bulldogs will have a lot of roles to fill, losing guards Rod Parrett, Jacorey Smith, Akanni White and forwards Byron Taylor and Donte’ Ralph.

When forming a new line-up, Worrell said the foundation he looks for is mentally and physically tough, hard-working kids.

“You can’t get out-hustled, you can’t get out-toughed,” he said.

The King’s Fork football team’s post-season success has left the Bulldogs’ basketball roster in a state of flux.

“It changes dynamics of what you can do and what you can’t do,” Worrell said. But at the end of the day, he has been rooting on the football team, and anticipating some of its players may help on the court down the line.

After Friday night’s season-ending football loss, those players, some of which could be key contributors for basketball, will look to earn spots.

In the meantime, 12 non-football players made the basketball cut during pre-season practices, and several have already shown their ability to make an impact.

Junior point guard Justin Chicot will be a big factor for the Bulldogs early on. He missed almost all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He has played in the summer league this year and established himself as a strong communicator on the floor.

Worrell said leadership on the team is going to be a group effort starting out.

He cited several players who have demonstrated they can do positive things down low on a roster containing many with long arms and legs. At either the power forward or center position, opponents will face junior Dale Roscoe, his brother, sophomore Chris Roscoe, and juniors Nick Walker and Cornelius Norman.

Junior Tyese Pressley is an up-and-comer on the team that Worrell expects to contribute more as time goes on because of his size combined with his shooting, rebounding and defensive capabilities.

Worrell is looking forward to getting his young squad real game experience to help it tackle the season’s challenges. He expects the challenges to be even more formidable after the Virginia High School League’s realignment.

The change ensures only match-ups featuring schools of similar student body size will happen in conference and post-season play. While this helped many schools become more competitive in different sports, Worrell said he thinks it made things a little harder in basketball.

King’s Fork is in a conference with competitive teams that Worrell said could win against the others on any given night: Denbigh High School, Heritage High School, Lakeland High School, Nansemond River High School and Phoebus High School.

Worrell said he has no issue with the VHSL’s change, however, and he remains confident in his team.

“I think we’ll be successful,” he said.

How exactly they get the job done will just be a work in progress.

The Bulldogs begin the regular season at home on Tuesday against Deep Creek High School.