The end of the Lafayette game last week not only marked the end of the 2011-2012 season for the Pickens Dragons’ basketball team, but also the end of the high school careers of seven Pickens players. I got a chance to talk to each of these players to find out how they felt about the season and what the future holds in store for them.What is your favorite moment from this season?
Spencer Jones: “Beating Gilmer both times in the region games.”
Wesley Easterwood: “My favorite moment from this season was probably when I dunked in the Gilmer game. It was my first dunk in a game and I don’t think there could have been a better game to do that in.”
Aries Johnson: “Beating Sequoyah because we’re the first team to do that since Coach Steinhauer starting coaching here. It was a big moment for us because we came back and it was [also] big for him.
Austin Murphy: “My pack on (Gilmer Bobcats player) Joe Bob Charles.”
Sam Crawford: “Scoring thirty [points] against Gilmer.”
Matt Stracener: “My favorite moment this season despite sweeping glimmer in region play was scoring the first basket at senior night. [It’s] something I will always remember.”
Jake Ledbetter: “When I finally got to start on senior night.”
What are you going to miss the most about this team and your teammates?
SJ: “Just playing basketball with the people that I’ve grown up with my whole life.”
WE: “I’m going to miss everything about my team and my teammates. I’ve grown up with almost all of these guys and we’ve really bonded and created some good chemistry over the years, and I’m really going to miss them and all the fun times we had at practice and during games.”
AJ: “The memories. We’ve been playing together since rec ball. Just coming to practice and hanging out all the time.”
AM: “Seeing everybody.”
MS: “I’m going to miss all the games of seven up, watching the after-practice dunk sessions, and the good times at camp.”
JL: “Hanging out with them and joking around.”
What would you like to tell the underclassmen players that will be playing in 2012-2013 and beyond?
SJ: “To work hard and never take a day off because one day it will all be over and you’ll miss it more than anything.”
WE: “I would like to tell any underclassmen to just make the most of it, and have no regrets. You don’t realize how fast it goes by, and it’ll be over before you know it. So always give everything you have, never give up, have fun, and make memories, because you’ll never forget any of it.”
AJ: “Stay focused and play hard and try to succeed. Be good role models”
AM: “Be coachable.”
SC: “Stay out of trouble.”
MS: “I would tell them to give it everything starting with summer camp, because you blink and the next thing u know your season ends before you accomplish your goals.”
JL: “Just keep going through with it no matter if u you play or not. When you get into the game or practice just go hard.”
What are your future plans?
SJ: “To go to college and play basketball.”
WE: “My future plans are to attend college and play basketball. I am still undecided about where I’m going, but I have been offered a spot on Berry College’s basketball team. I’m still considering other schools though. And after college, I would like to become a teacher, and also become a basketball coach, coaching either middle school or high school-level kids.”
AJ: “I would like to go to school. I haven’t decided where I want to go yet, but I will know that shortly. I just want to go out and see the world and live an exciting life.”
AM: “I don’t really know yet except for going to college and becoming a famous dunker [laughs]”
SC: “Going to a local college somewhere within a couple of hours of home and playing college basketball.”
MS: “My goals are to go Kennesaw State University and pursue a nursing degree and career
Through Air Force ROTCE.”
JL: “[I am going to] go to college up in Jasper then transfer and become a teacher.”