Bob­cats look­ing to re­bound this sea­son

The Catoosa County News - - SPORTS - By Scott Herpst sherpst@npco.com

With a ros­ter con­sist­ing of mostly fresh­men, the Ge­or­gia North­west­ern Bob­cats strug­gled to a 4-19 over­all record last sea­son, just one year re­moved from a 12-12 cam­paign.

How­ever, the Navy-and-sil­ver showed signs of ad­just­ing to the world of col­lege bas­ket­ball as the sea­son pro­gressed and, al­though it was not re­flected in the win to­tal, head coach David Stephen­son said the Bob­cats played sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter in the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

Now he’s hop­ing the les­sons learned from last year will pay off for his re­turn­ing play­ers. Team cap­tain, Sopho­more J.T. Lang­ford

is one of the team’s most im­proved play­ers and will serve as a cap­tain for the up­com­ing sea­son. The 6-foot-4 swing man has shoot­ing guard skills, but can also play on the wing and in the post.

Lang­ford is one of three re­turn­ing Bob­cats who saw sig­nif­i­cant ac­tion a year ago.

Sopho­more Cole Mc­k­ee­han will give the Bob­cats a perime­ter threat at the shoot­ing guard spot, while speedy sopho­more point guard Justin Smith

is back to help run the of­fense again. “It’s nice to have those three back and it’s go­ing to help,” Stephen­son said. “So far, this team ap­pears to be very smart and very to­gether. Like our women’s team, I think the key is how quickly the new play­ers can ad­just to the phys­i­cal­ity of the col­lege game.”

Among the new play­ers on this year’s ros­ter or a pair of play­ers from Trion High School in fresh­men Jar­ret Gill and Jayce Har­ris Both are among the team’s big­gest and hard­est-work­ing play­ers. While they will see sig­nif­i­cant ac­tion in the post, both are more than ca­pa­ble of shoot­ing the ball from the perime­ter.

Rep­re­sent­ing Gor­don Lee High School will be fresh­men Hay­den Mur­phy and Kan­nen Der­ry­berry

Both can play at the shoot­ing guard or at a wing spot. Mur­phy is a heady, hard-work­ing player and Der­ry­berry has both length and ath­leti­cism and should be able to help the Bob­cats on the press. Both are also out­stand­ing 3-point shoot­ers.

De­spite be­ing a lit­tle un­der­sized at 6-foot1, fresh­man Mark Ch­ester could see part of his time in the post for the Bob­cats. Ch­ester played some at the post for Cass High School and he is the first for­mer Colonel to ever suit up for Ge­or­gia North­west­ern.

/ Scott Herpst

The Ge­or­gia North­west­ern Bob­cats are look­ing to re­bound from a tough 2017-2018 sea­son. They will host the Ten­nessee Wes­leyan JV team in their home opener on Nov. 20 in Rossville.

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