Runnin’ Tigers have lofty goals in 20-21
GLEN ROSE — First-year Glen Rose boys basketball coach Jake Bell has lofty goals for the 2020-21 Runnin’ Tigers, and they are goals he believes are certainly attainable: be the best defensive team in the state; be the most fundamental and most skilled; and be the toughest, most energetic team with relentless effort.
“Two of these components take zero talent — just a desire — every program can develop,” he said.
The Runnin’ Tigers started practice nearly 10 days ago and will play at Graford on Saturday in the first of two scrimmages before officially starting the season next week, and since Day One, Bell has liked what he has seen.
“We have been putting in work both in the gym and the weight room since the first day of school. I cannot praise these guys enough for their commitment to come up early each morning for strength and conditioning sessions,” Bell said. “This has allowed us to gain some early momentum with the skill work side of things on the hardwood during our athletic period. We have great kids here and who will do what you ask — no hesitations.”
Glen Rose returns a solid core in Caden Schinagel, Matthew Hammond and Kolton Mooney.
“Our program is built on trust, loyalty and love for each other,” Bell said. “I am able to get on them because they first believe in our coaching staff, our vision and know we truly love them and want what is best for them. Everything we do will consist of championship habits. Our habits over time form who we are. Your habits — little or big — form the make-up of your culture and identity.”
Austin Worthen and Kanyon Keese are also key components, but both of them are still playing football, and that’s fine with him.
“We absolutely want our multi-sport athletes to experience as much success as possible. With our football team having the year they are having, that is just going to be an added bonus getting those guys over,” he said. “We hope that is later than sooner because I truly believe success breeds success if you are focusing on your program standards.”
Last year, the Tigers played a pressing-style defense, while shooting the 3-pointer on offense, and the long ball is something Bell relies on and will continue to do.
“I am a big believer in using the 3-point shot as a difference-maker if implemented properly. My teams have led the state of Texas in their classification in 3-point makes the last four out of five years. That is not an easy task,” Bell said. “There are no secret ingredients to become a great shooter. Success is not an accident. You have to spend countless hours in the gym or driveway in becoming a great shooter.”
The Tigers finished 18-19 overall and 5-3 in district, which was good for second place. They lost to Krum 66-53 in the first round of the playoffs.
Following Saturday’s scrimmage at Graford, the Tigers host Lipan in a scrimmage on Tuesday before opening the season at home on Friday, Nov. 13 with Keene.
“We want to create mini-goals within our season. Without these, a championship is not obtainable,” Bell said. “Keeping your kids focused and challenged during the preseason will always form the right habits headed into district play.”