Posted On: 10/25/19 6:53 AM

1957.

That was the year Stranahan High School opened its doors. I am going to assume most of you reading this were not alive at that time (not even my father was).

Fast forward 62-years later to 2019. The Mighty Dragons finally cut down the nets, going 27-6 and winning the Class 6A basketball title against St. Petersburg Lakewood last March. 

So what are the Mighty Dragons looking to do for an encore? Lets see if the historic run is ready for a repeat. 

Head Coach: Terrence William (3rd Season)

Key Losses: PG/SG Brian Dugazon,  PG/SG Jordan Greene

Key Returnees: Daquion Vickers SG/SF Sr., Chayse Culpepper PG/SG –  Sr., Inady Legiste C/PF – Sr., Dave Herard SG Sr.

Vickers 6’1,175 – Vickers might be 6’1, but the senior is a guy you can count on for rebounds. Last year in the championship game, he nearly recorded a double-double with 9 points and 11 rebounds. A guy who can create extra possessions with his ability around the glass, Vickers should be a box score stuffer for the Mighty Dragons.

“I’m a big asset to the team,” said Vickers. “I’m a guy that can rebound and shoot which is a help for our team to win.”

Culpepper 6’0,176 – Culpepper averaged around 14 points per game last season while scoring in double-digits in the title game. Culpepper is a quick, shifty player with ability to get to the rim and use his body to shed off incoming defenders. Chayse is the son of former NFL quarterback Daunte Culpepper and has a younger brother on the team, Houston. 

“I’m a leader on the team and can get to the basket and shoot the ball when I need too, said Culpepper. “We have a lot of guys on our team that can do a lot of things with the ball.”

Legiste 6’6, 225 – Legiste is long with a big body, I would not be surprised if he gets bigger throughout the season. In a game I witnessed against American Heritage last season, Legiste scored 18 points and was a menace on the glass. He will be that anchor in the middle for the Dragons. Good luck scoring around the rim on him. If Stranahan gets on the fast break with one of there guards, Legiste could be the trailer ready to jack-hammer one into the basket with his athleticism and push the crowd into a frenzy.

“I am kind of a throw back player, ” said Legiste. “I can use my size around the rim to get on the glass while scoring in the paint. I can also shoot mid-range which makes myself and our team versatile.” 

Dave Herard 6’2,180 – Herard is a multi-sport athlete committed to the University of Virginia to play cornerback. He might be the lead this group in scoring as he is capable of knocking down shots for an easy 20 points. With Herard, the Dragons might have four players who could easily score in double figures on any given night.

Recap:

Coach William: “We have a very competitive team all-around, more than last year.”I think we are a better team than last year. We have a tougher schedule the tier system. We are playing three championship level teams in Dillard, Westminster and U-School. We have a lot of young guys like Houston Culpepper who can shoot, dribble, rebound and play in the post. Julian Lewis is a young, athletic guy in the mix.  We are a complete team. I preach about consistency a lot. Our goals is to be one of those elite group programs. In order to be an elite program you have to have consistency and the rest will play itself out.”