CONWAY HIGH GIRLS
Coach: Ashley Nance
Last year’s record: 19-9 overall, 11-3 in conference
Top Returning Players: Senior guard Taylor Gault, 5-9, is the only returning starter. She averaged 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists per game last season. 5-11 senior forward Quay Allen-Smith, 5-5" junior guard Madison Foster, and 5-10 junior guard Alexus Clardy.
Newcomers to Watch: 5-7 soph0more, guard Enjonae Chambers and 6-0 senior forward Bre’Anna Hobbs, a transfer from Conway Christian.
Coach Nance’s outOlook for the season: "With one returning starter, a new head coach and a new style of play, we could have a roller- coaster season. I am expecting some really great moments and some learning moments. I am looking forward to seeing how the young ladies respond to the new system. If you like up-tempo basketball, we will be fun to watch."
Coach: Brent Stallings
Returning Players: Seniors Nathan Malone, 6-7; Logan Pickell, 6-3; Jacob Rainey, 6-2, Alex Williams, 6-0; juniors Cody Elmore, 5-11 and Marcellous Staten, 6-0.
Newcomers to watch: Junior Derick Parks, 6-1; Cortez Heard, 6-0; Xavier Ussery, 5-9. Sophomores Matthew Post, 5-9; Austin Taylor, 5-8; Jason Dawson, 5-11; Gregg Addie, 5-10; Daniel Geiber, 5-9; Zane Rose, 5-9; Ross Gray, 5-10; Dane Richardson, 6-5; Yanis Nicklavs, 6-5.
Coach Stallings’ outlook for the season: "After winning only two games last season we have only one direction to go and that is up. I expect to be much-improved from last year. We had a great summer and all the young men have worked hard and improved. We have good size, depth and much improved guard play. We have great senior leadership and a good mixture of juniors and sopmores that will contribute. Key players are all the seniors, juniors Cody Elmore, Deric Parks, and Cortez Heard, Sophmores Ross Gray, Austin Taylor, Jason Dawson, Yanis Niklavs and Dane Richardson.
"Our conference will be very competitive with Arkansas Baptist being the favorite. I feel if we can come together and play our roles this team has a good chance to make noise in the conference and challege for postseason play."
CONWAY CHRISTIAN BOYS
Coach: Shane Davis
Last year’s record: 11-11
Achievements last year: 3rd in conf. (6th in season before); Bauxite Invitational Runners-Up
Top returning players (4 starters):
Kirby Powell (21 PPG, 6 RPG, 57 percent FG, 79 percent FT), all-conference
Zach Johnson (9 PPG, 7 RPG), all-conference
Caleb Stanton (8 PPG, 4 RPG, 3 APG)
Jackson Wilson (4 PPG 2RPG)
Newcomers to watch: Junior Jacob Callaway, Tyler Ratliff, Ethan Ellis, and Lance Beckman have shown great improvement in the offseason and should see significant minutes; Brandon Helms, Tanner Stevenson, and Andrew Dather should also see some time this year.
Coach Davis’ Outlook: "We’ve got the nucleus of our team back, four of whom have started most games since they were sophomores. This will also be the deepest we have ever been and this group has alot to prove. We feel the transitioning time into the AAA is over and are hoping to turn last year’s .500 season into a winning one, along with a postseason berth."
(To be continued)