By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
If Gaston’s boys basketball team doesn’t have a good year, don’t blame it on the coaching staff.
Head coach Buddy Wright has assembled an all-star cast to help.
“We have a lot of the pieces here to be successful,” Wright said. “We have some athletic players and our coaching staff has a plethora of knowledge.”
The coaching staff includes Tonya Bogle, one of Etowah County’s most successful girls coaches; Jerry Fraiser, who coached at Disque Middle and Gadsden High for years before retiring a few years ago; and Cory Dunn, who played at Gadsden for Fraiser and Wright.
Even though the Bulldogs aren’t winning much right now, Wright isn’t concerned. Instead, he’s more worried about getting the team in winning condition by February.
“We’re not going to shy away from any team,” Wright said. “Our goal in December isn’t so much about winning games as about improving, and playing good teams helps you improve.”
Gaston hasn’t played a Class 1A or 2A team yet, instead opting to play bigger schools such as Ashville, Springville, Douglas, Anniston and Hokes Bluff.
“Of course winning is important,” Wright said. “But I don’t want to start winning a lot on the front end because that will make you relax later, when the playoffs are on the line. Winning early can make you overconfident. It’s really fool’s gold.”
Point guard Jackson Bogle is the main cog of the Bulldogs team.
“Jackson can handle the ball well and he can distribute it well,” Wright said. “And he’s athletic enough that he can play post when we need him to.”
Trevian Rooks, Albert Douglas, Josh Bogle and Braxton Collins are the other starters.
“Every year, a team has to establish its identity,” Wright said. “After we get through December, I think we’ll be all right for the games that really matter.”