Shoemaker, Tigers eye better times
Head coach Craig Shoemaker is hoping his 11th season at the helm of the Ragsdale varsity boys’ basketball team will be better than his 10th.
Last year, the Tigers finished a disappointing 4-21 overall and 2-10 in Piedmont-Triad 4A conference play.
The Tigers were very young last year, with only two varsity players returning from the previous season.
Ragsdale lost Bryan Rouse to Greensboro Day this offseason. He averaged 12 points per game last season.
This season, seven players return to the team bringing an average of 32 points and 17 rebounds back from last year. With ten upperclassmen on the roster this year, the Tigers will have a bit more experience than last year.
Among the returning players are three who started every game last season. They include James Stepp (who averaged 11 points per game), Daniel Kanakanui and Joseph Bryant. Stepp and Kanakanui are juniors. Bryant is a senior.
Shoemaker believes the team will be much better defensively this year. Better defensive play will allow the Tigers to run a faster paced offense. Improved guard play from rising sophomore P.J. Parker and freshmen Mac McCain will hopefully catalyze the team offensively.
While improving overall is good, Shoemaker feels improving in the conference is most important.
“We’re going to be a lot more competitive in conference games than we were last year,” said Shoemaker.
The Tigers still have a long way to go to improve from last season. Shoemaker speculated that the team had a good chance of winning 15 games this year and could compete for a spot at the top of the conference.