BELLE GLADE – The Glades Day Gators expect to see continued improvement in the boys basketball program.
Coach Kurt Stahl enters his third season. The Gators were (4-14) in 2015-2016, compared to (0-18) in 2014-2015.
The team improved last year despite the fact they moved into a tougher district.
This year the team will compete with last year’s district champion Atlantic Christian and a state power house Grandview Prep.
Stahl scheduled some larger schools from the Big Lake region on the schedule to help prepare his team. Clewiston (5A) and Okeechobee (7A) will provide huge tests for his team.
“I’m also talking with Glades Central about possibly adding some games. I look to have a pretty challenging schedule once again,” he added.
The schedule also includes a Christmas tournament at Jupiter Christian from Dec. 28-30 against tough opponents.
The Unity in the community preseason classic is held this week with games at Pahokee High School. Teams in attendance are Glades Day, Pahokee, Clewiston and Glades Central.
The Gators do return seven players and have four starters back from last year. Key players include AJ McPhee, a freshman, Jorge Acosta, a junior, and seniors AJ Johnson and Tai Cypress. Point guard Eric Leon (sophomore) who missed time due to injury last year is healthy this year. Other contributors include Jacob Camacho, an eighth grader, and Adrian Ruiz, a sophomore. Two newcomers on the team are Dylan Downing, a junior and Nico Pancione, a senior.
“I think after several seasons together, these guys are really starting to learn the system and play within the system. I think when you combine real game experience with solid fundamentals, I expect us to be far more competitive this year.”