- Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 December 2008 23:34
- Published on Wednesday, 03 December 2008 23:34
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The Drifters varsity basketball program is back and stronger than ever! After one week of practice under their belts, the Drifters are flexed and geared up this week to take on Great Mills and James Monroe in pre-season scrimmages.
On the following week, it will be “Tip Off” time as the Drifters travel deep in the Northern Neck to back Lancaster for their regular season opener, before hosting Amelia County in their home “Dome” opener.
Entering his 30th year as the Drifter boys’ head basketball coach, Steve Swope is anxious to begin the journey to another regular season Tidewater-A District championship. “We are looking forward to the season with a bunch of energetic, hustling kids that take pride in wearing the ‘Black & Gold,’” Swope said. “We should be very competitive to defend our district crown, while we look to go deep into VHSL playoffs.”
Assisting Swope this season in the role of assistant coaches are Jonathan Parker and former Drifter player, Kurt Smith. Head Drifter boys’ junior varsity coach Randy Jones and junior high school coach Earl Payton are back to lead their perspective programs to the top of their divisions.
Graduation cost the Drifters three prime time performers: shooting guard, Tim Wilson; power forward, Nate Galloway; the “X-factor” hustling Terry Bushrod. Their heroic deeds will be missed.
The Drifters head into the season with a strong list of valuable returnees, led by senior, All-District and All-Region point guard TT Carey. Carey averaged a Fredericksburg area best 22.9 points per game along with eight rebounds, five assists and four steals a night.
Junior point guard/forward Dylan “Mr. Versatility” Farinet returns as one of the best players in the District, Region and area. The multi-sport star averaged 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals per game last season.
“We have two of the finer basketball players in the history of our school in the same back-court together,” coach Swope said. “These guys can really put on a show and make people get out of their seats in the stands—you won’t want to miss their highlights.”
Senior shooting guard Kevin “K-Dog” Swope is back to lay claim to his long-range three-ball territory. K-Dog solidifies the Drifters a complete basketball team on all levels. He gives the Beach a solid triple-threat of instant offense, while making life tough on opposing offenses.
A huge presence in the low post zone is junior and center Paul Roberson. Roberson’s ability to dominate the boards and block out taller rivals will be crucial to the success of the Drifters season. In the low post, senior, wing players Kenny Devers and Jamel Dickerson look to enhance the Drifters team speed and hustle as they compose the core of the Drifters depth.
Newcomers who have caught the coach’s attention include Jeremy Robinson and Joe Slater. Robinson possesses a keen instinct for shooting and quickness, while Slater is the complete utility-player, who hustles from every end of the court.
Other players who aspire to contribute are: senior, shooter Thomas Perry; sophomore, post player Alex Gorfida; junior, swing-man Travis Cundiff; sophomore strongman Aaron Dickerson. The aforementioned role players are essential to providing the Drifters low post strength and scoring from the front-court.
During the summer the Team attended Paul Webb’s Team Camp at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. The summer squad won the camp championship for the four-day event and should serve as a confidence builder as the Drifters prepare for a tough season.
The Drifters season outlook could be something special if the chemistry meshes and the depth core of its supporting cast provides fresh legs each night. In light of their proud tradition of defense; look for the Drifters run and press, while creating defensive mayhem. Their defiant swagger and hard nose attitude is a trademark of their legendary past.
The Beach is scheduled to play double-A Battlefield powers King George and Chancellor, and every team in the Northern Neck except Rappahannock. Also, they will go to war against their 10 Tidewater District rivals, providing the hometown fans with an exciting schedule to come out and follow.
Fans come out and get the Drifterdome rocking, with its brand new floor and send the noise meter through the roof when the Drifters come through the tunnel. Go Drifters!