A stellar season collapsed at the finish line for the 2012-13 Charger boys basketball team.
Allegations of ineligible players on the day before the final regular season game led the CHS administration to self-impose sanctions by forfeiting all preceding games. Still the team got to finish the season on the court, finally falling by two at Westview.
The 2013-14 season dawns with a yet unproven cast of players and a new head coach.
Seasoned veteran Charles Mitchell comes to CHS after a very successful 21-year run at Knoxville’s Austin East. A frequenter of the state tournament, Mitchell has all the tools and experience to take the CHS program to even greater heights.
Junior forward Bobby Shanks and point guard Kaleb Estes are the only returning starters. Shanks has great potential in Mitchell’s eyes.
“He has not had to do so to this point, but Bobby has to be a leader on and off the court,” Mitchell said. “He has to step up for us to be successful and the same is true for Kaleb. He calls the offense well, but we will have to make do until he returns.”
Estes was injured in the Bolivar game and may miss up to four weeks.
Senior Damarcus Seaberry and junior Fentrice Flowers will be called on to provide outside scoring for the Chargers.
“They have to lead as well,” said Mitchell.
The coach also expects some scoring punch and a steady hand at the point from senior Jesse Somerville.
“We are small,” he said. “That means that we will have to have Delvin Russell and Malcolm Taylor to step up and rebound.”
As for the change in coaching style from the past few years, Mitchell thinks the players are catching on.
“I am looking for players who will think on the floor and players who are prepared and ready to play each and every game. We can’t slack off for a play,” he said.
This is especially true in the boy’s side of District 15. Mitchell characterized CHS’ new district as one of the toughest in Tennessee, saying it is better than where he came from.
“We are playing a tough schedule early and learning to play together. We are bringing this team along slowly. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”