NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE OF
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia       More Newspaper Titles
December 7, 2011
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Jl00por00 PAGE 2B December 7, 2011 Talented boys must learn teamwork New coach z000000en'ts five return/ng staners fTom reg/on c00amp/ons00ip squad BY RICHARD DUMAS espite a disap- pointing season- opening home loss Tuesday, ex- pectations for Mary Persons boys basket- ball in 2011-12 could be as high as they have ever been at the school. The Bulldogs return seven core players from last year's 19-9 team, which captured the first region title in school history. One of those seven, junior shooting guard Brarmen Greene, has been named the top 2013 college basketball prospect in the state by numerous recruit- ing services. Talented senior center Parris Moore also returns after a junior year that saw him receive all-region hon- ors. Five other seniors: guards Jacoby Mitchell, Rico Lyons and D'vante Penamon and wings Johntae Pennnington and Reno Lyons also return after playing significant minutes on last year's team. With most of the key play- ers back from a year ago, it would only seem natural the Bulldogs would have anoth- er banner year. However, there could be complications early on in 2011-12. For one, the Bulldogs began the regular season Tuesday having had only four practices with the full team. Rico Lyons, Reno Lyons, Penamon and juniors Tra Taylor and Macey Zellner were all members of the MP football team that advanced to the second round of the state playoffs and did not finish up play until Nov. 18. But what could further complicate things is that the team has a new head coach that was not hired until mid-summer. Virgil Amey was hired in late June to replace former head coach Prelvis Paster, who left in April to take the Griffm head job. Amey most recently served as the Athletic Director at the Elite Scholars Academy, a charter school in Jonesboro. Before that, Amey was a head coach at a handful of Georgia high schools, including his alma mater, Booker T. Washington, in Atlanta. He had his greatest success while coaching Gainesville from 1997-03, first as an assistant and then as head coach. Under Amey's watch, Gainesville won three region titles and advanced to back-to-back AAA final fours in 2001 and 2002. Amey said after three years away from coaching, he is ready to get back to the grind. He joked that Tuesday's heartbreaking 72- 71 loss to Veterans made him want to "jump off of a tall bridge" to paraphrase an old saying by former Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp. But Amey said he wouldn't have trad- ed that feeling for anything because it's just part of being a coach. Besides, Amey knows he has a good team this year, saying with MP's athleti- cism and speed it has the potential to have success similar to that of his best Gainesville teams. Amey said, "I know what kind of team we have, and I know what kind of team we're going to be...Once we get the basketball to match the athleticism, I really feel we have a great opportunity to be one of the last teams standing down the stretch in February and March. But it has to come together." Amey said one of his best Gainesville teams got off to a really slow start but turned things around after Christmas. He said vchen MP players begin to focus more on playing together rather than as individuals, the Bulldogs' season will take off. Amey said he plans to focus early practices on emphasizing team p]ay. See BOYS page 5B MP Senior Boys Bas 00etD00zll Players myjen Munford Age: 18 Number: 35 Position: Center Parents' names: Tyrone and Jennifer Munford Favorite basketball memory: Middle school when I first started to re- ally like basketball. Toughest part about practice: Maintaining mental toughness. Who's your hero? My dad. Favorite college/pro team? North Carolina/Dallas Maver- icks What do you do when you're not playing bas- ketball? Hang with friends. Favorite food? Don't re- ally have one. Favorite subject in school? Math What do you plan to do after high school? Go to college and get a degree in business. Jacoby Mitchell Age: 17 Number: 2 Position: Shooting guard/point guard Parents' names: Willie and Sharon Mitchell Favorite basketball memory: Winning the region championship my junior year. Toughest part about practice: The beginning of practice (running). Who's your hero? God and my parents. Favorite college/pro team? Duke What do you do when you're not playing bas- ketball? Getting togeth- er with friends and eat- ing out. Favorite food? Steak (T- bone) Favorite subject in school? Literature What do you plan to do after high school? Play college basketball. D'Vante Penamon Age: 17 Number: 4 Position: Shooting guard/small forward Parents' names: Belin- da Penamon , Favorite basketball memory: Sophomore year when we played Rutland on Senior night, and we were down by 20, Coach put four sophomores in, and we came back, Toughest part about practice: Transition de- fense drills. Who's your hero? My mother and uncle. Favorite college/pro team? Duke/Boston Celtics What do you do when you're not playing bas- ketball? Hang out with the boys. Favorite food? Ribs Favorite subject in school? Math What do you plan to do after high school? Go to college and play bas- ketball/football. Reno Lyons Age: 17 Number: 10 Position: Guard Parents' names: Clovis Lyons and Erikka Ben- ning Favorite basketball memory: My junior year when I scored 20 points against Howard. Toughest part about practice: Defensive drills. Who's your hero? God, my grandma and my parents. Favorite college/pro team? Memphis/Los An- geles Lakers What do you do when you're not playing bas- ketball? Shaking it with my boys. Favorite food? French fries and chicken ten- ders. Favorite subject in school? Math What do you plan to do after high school? Go- ing to play college bas- ketball. Johntae Pennington Age: 17 Number: 15 Position: Small forward Parents' names: Moses and Jane Pennington Favorite basketball memory: Shooting three-pointers against Central last year. Toughest part about practice: All of the run- ning and conditioning. Who's your hero? Favorite college/pro team? Duke/Miami Heat What do you do when you're not playing bas- ketball? Read, hang out with my boys, listen to music, spend time with family, shop and hunt. Charles Sealey Age: 18 Number: 22 Position: Wing Parents' names: Charles Sealey and Vi- enna Khodra Favorite basketball memory: Had 37 points including five three- pointers Toughest part about practice: Transition de- fense. Who's your hero? Akeem Francis Favorite college/pro team? Los Angeles Lak- ere What do you do when you're not playing bas- ketball? Play video Favorite food? Spaghet- games. ti Favorite subject in school? English What do you plan to do after high school? At- tend Georgia Southern University to study me- chanical engineering. Favorite food? Every- thing Favorite subject in school? Math What do you plan to do after high school? Play college ball. Parris Moore Age: 19 Number:. 34 Position: Center/power forward Parents' names: Joseph Moore and Kimberly Davis Favorite basketball mem- ory: My favorite basketball memory was when I hit the game-winning three back in 5th grade in on rec semi- final game. Toughest part about practice: Getting up and down the floor because I have gotten out of shape. Who's your hero? Coach Prelvis Paster and my mom. Favorite college/pro team? North Carolina/Los Angeles Lakers What do you do when you're not playing bas- ketball? Play video games or hang out with my friends and family. Favorite food? Pizza Favorite subject in school? Math What do you plan to do after high school? Go to college and get a degree. 2011 MP Junior V00rsity Basketball Schedule Michael Hopkins Age: 18 Number: 33 Position: Post Parents' names: Michael and Kristy Hop- kins Favorite basketball memory: Won the championship while playing for Tattnall. Toughest part about practice: Trying to not mess up. Who's your hero? Larry Bird Favorite college/pro team? Boston Celtics What do you do when you're not playing bas- ketball? Work, hunt, be with friends. Favorite food? Mexican Favorite subject in school? History What do you plan to do after high school? Go to college. Mike Ogletree Age: 17 Number: 32 Position: Center Parents' names: Mike Ogletree St. and Wanda Lowe Favorite basketball memory: Scored my first points. Toughest part about practice: Running. Who's your hero? Morn, dad and BOC (R.I.P.) Favorite college/pro team? What do you do when you're not playing bas- ketball? Chill with team- mates, Favorite food? Corn Favorite subject in school? Math What do you plan to do after high school? Un- decided. Rico Lyons Age: 17 Number: 1 Position: Point guard Parents' names: Tony Lyons and Erikka Ben- ning Favorite basketball memory: Winning the region championship. Toughest part about practice: Running. Who's your hero? Mom and Dad Favorite college/pro team? Tennessee, Bulls What do you do when you're not playing basketball? Football, hanging with friends. Favorite food? Pizza Favorite subject in school? English What do you plan to do after high school? Play college football Other MP Boys Basketball Players Brannen Harry Greene #14 Williams #24 20 Middle School Basketball Schedule Tra Taylor #23 Macey Zellner #40 DATE OPPONENT PLACE Dec. 6 Perry Home Dec, 9 Central Away Dec. 10 Jackson Home Dec. 17 Lamar Co. Home Dec. 30 Lamar Co. Away Jan. 6 West Laurens Away Jan. 7 Baldwin Home Jan. 10 Rutland Home Jan. 13 Veterans Away Jan, 14 Jackson Away Jan. 17 Peach Co. Home Jan. 20 Perry Away Jan. 24 Central Home Jan. 28 Peach Co. Away Jan. 31 Westside Home Feb. 3 Baldwin Away Feb. 10 Rutland Away TIME Girls 4:00 p.m. Boys 4:00 p.m. G/B 3:00 p.m. G/B 3:00 p.m. G/B 3:30 p.m. Girls 4:00 p.m, G/B 3:00 p.m. Boys 4:00 p.m. G/B 4:00 p.m. G/B 3:00 p.m. Girls 4:00 p.m, Boys 4:00 p.m. Girls 4:00 p.m. Boys 4:00 p.m. Boys 4:00 p.m, Girls 4:00 p.m, Girls 4:00 p.m. DATE OPPONENT PLACE Dec. 7 Lamar County Home Dec. 9 Henderson Away Dec. 12 Clifton Ridge Away Dec. 14 Crawford County Home Dec. 16 Byron Home Jan. 11 Clifton Ridge Home Jan. 18 Gray Station Away Jan. 20 Lamar County Away Jan. 25 Henderson Home Jan. 27 Crawford County Away Feb. 1 Playoffs TBA TIME 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. TBA