Runnin’ Tigers looking to build on last year’s success

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

GLEN ROSE — Some of the coaches have changed and nine players graduated from the team that finished 25-4 and went 8-0 in District 6-4A, but the standard of excellence didn’t.

“We had a good season last year and a good spring and summer,” said first-year Glen Rose basketball coach Will Bryant, who was named the head coach over the summer. “We are doing a few things differently, but the standard and what we expect from them remains the same.”

Glen Rose's Cross Arrington (3) is a returning starter who will be counted on a lot this season.

The Tigers, who won their first nine games last year and 16 of their last 17, lost several key cogs, but Bryant expects the returners in Cross Arrington and Caden Smith, as well as some players from the JV last year to step up.

“Those are two guys that I never have to get on for a lack of effort or focus,” Bryant said. “They bring it every day, lead our group really well, and I’m really excited to see what they do this season.”

The Tigers will also look for consistency from Bryce Birl, Coleden McCoy, Dylan Ellis, Jacob Kornman and Tristan Black.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that have gotten better and really stepped up,” Bryant said. “Each guy will play an important role on our team. We have several guys that have been in the gym with us all fall.”

The Tigers have been practicing for two weeks now, and they will open the season Friday at 4 p.m. at Keene High School. Junior varsity will follow at 5:15 p.m.

“The guys have been getting after it all fall and it has carried over into the first part of the season,” Bryant said. “We don’t have everyone yet, but the sub-varsity football guys join us this week, and varsity football guys will join us after they make a playoff run.”

Bryant said the Tigers are physical and athletic, and that’s a product of their work in the weight room in the offseason, and it will be evident on both ends of the floor.

“Defensively, we are going to pride ourselves on not giving up easy buckets. Opponents are going to score, we just want to make sure they have to work for it,” Bryant said. “That happens through communicating as a unit, being tough, and valuing every single defensive possession. I believe good teams separate themselves from other good teams with mental toughness and being able to focus and lock in on winning every possession.”

Offensively, gone are district MVP Matthew Hammonds, district defensive player of the year Caden Schinagel as well as Kolton Mooney, Kanyon Keese and Austin Worthen, but Bryant likes what he has for 2021-22.

“All of our guys are capable of knocking down shots from outside,” Bryant said.  “I think we will be much more balanced offensively this season than last season. We have some good basketball players, and ultimately, I want them to play basketball and trust themselves and their teammates without having to think too much.”

The Tigers will open their home slate on Tuesday at 7 p.m. with Azle. The freshman team and JV will play prior.