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Posted On: 11/30/18 7:37 AM
The next up philosophy has been a staple at Highland Springs since George Lancaster took over in the 80’s, and it’s still alive today with Head Coach Reggie Tennyson.
After a stellar junior season where he contributed as an energy and role guy, senior Damon Werts looks like he’s ready to be the next guy up along with senior Jordan Crump. The 6’2” jumping bean of a wing scored 20 points to lead the Springers in their first win over Meadowbrook, showing improvement in his ability to score on the offensive end.
He said it’s all stuff he’s been working on this summer and he’s ready to show this season.
“Last year, I was more of a drive to the basket kind of guy,” Wets said.” This year I’ve been working on my jumper a lot, I can really knock down the midrange and sometimes the three ball, so I’ve changed up a little bit.”
Wets doesn’t just have to step it up from a production level however, he also has to step up and be the leader for the first time. After leaning on senior Nathaniel Pollard last year, it’s now time for Werts to be the man and lead them to another big season.
“This year it’s a lot different because we’ve got a lot of young guys and we have to try to keep them motivated and keep them up so we can work as one team,” Werts said. “It’s not going to be hard, but we want to have a good season so we need them to get that ‘ship.”
It isn’t just Werts though, he has two backcourt mates he’s been playing with for a while. Junior point guard Christian Wilson is a 5’10” ballhawk defensively and a playmaker offensively, and 6’2” senior two guard Jordan Crump is a shot maker and scorer, so it fits perfectly with the way Werts plays as an athletic wing in transition.
They also know each other, so it works well he says.
“Well we’ve known each other for a while, but we’ve been playing together since my 10th grade year,” he said. “We know each other, we know what each other are good at and like to do, so it’s been working pretty well.”
One of the things Werts does is something that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet. While he has worked on his jumper, he’ll catch one of the back rim, or get a lob in transition or sky for a block that will send his teammates and the fans into a frenzy.
“I’ll still drive too though, I’ll still get up. For real, my team knows I like to dunk, so we get real hyped when I dunk. So that might change the game up, we had two other guys get dunks after that, it changed the game and we put them away.”
He’s worked hard for all of this, and like many seniors he wants two things on the season.
“This year, we want to win that ring. We lost in the region semifinals to Varina, for like the fifth time, it hurt, so we want to go back and win it all. Individually, I just want to go to college for free for real.”
Coach Tennyson says that he has some division three and JUCO schools that have been recruiting him, and it makes perfect sense because he fits those levels perfectly. I believe coaches of that level and prep schools should take a look at him as a steal this season.