else with any significant experience coming back. For the most part it’s going to be a bunch of guys that played on the junior varsity team last year who will have to step up and contribute.”
Because of the lack of game experience, Terry said fans can expect to see a lot more players’ names in the stat sheet on a nightly basis this time around.
“We only played about six to seven players most of the games last year, but this year we’ll probably go 10 to 12 deep,” he continued. “We’ll see how it goes, but we’re starting the season with more questions than answers, although some of that will play itself out. There will probably be a lot of learning for me and our coaches in our first few games. We have to see what these guys can do and who we can count on.”
The lone returning starter is senior Will Allen. A guard with length and exceptional ball skills, Allen has outstanding range as a shooter and is the Generals’ leading returning scorer. He was named All-region last year after putting up 11 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists a game, while shooting 78 percent from the free throw line.
Shooting guard Walker Spruiell and guard Taylor Dyer both played some minutes for the varsity team last year, while the remaining two seniors are relative newcomers to the program. Clint Petteys did not play last season, but will return to the squad this year to provide depth at the forward position. Meanwhile, Nolan Letzgus, a baseball standout who had a breakout season as a receiver on the football team, is a slasher who can also shoot the ball. However, this will be Letzgus’ first action on the court in several years.
“Three of those guys (Dyer, Petteys and Letzgus) we’re playing football and they got a late start,” Terry said. “Obviously, Will will be a go-to player for us and Nolan looks extremely athletic with a lot of raw talent, but (all the seniors) will have to be big for us.”
Terry said the junior and sophomore classes lack experience, but are not short on talent or potential.
Perhaps Heritage’s truest post player is junior Kobe Mcallister, an offensive line prospect in football. Mcallister stands close to 6-foot-7 with a big body that should give the Generals a major present in the paint. Guard Cade Collins also saw some significant action year ago, while the rest of the juniors include guards Brady Hawkins, Ethan Lovell and Camden Green. Hawkins and Lovell are solid shooters, while Green will see time at point guard in a back-up role.
The roster will be rounded out by four sophomores. Cooper Terry and Caden Snyder are vying for time at shooting guard, guard Cade Kiniry is a slasher that can take the ball to the rim, while post player Nick Hanson will give the Generals more size inside off the bench.
Jeff Green and Chris Hight will once again be back to assist Terry on the bench, while brothers and Heritage super fans Landon and Logan Pickett will serve as the team’s managers.
“I think the strength of this team is going to be our shooting,” Terry said. “The last couple of years we’ve only had one or two shooters on the floor and relied more on our defense. This time, we may have as many as five shooters on the floor and we haven’t had that here in 11 years of our existence.
“I think we’re going to be able to spread some teams out and put the ball in the hole a little bit, at least that’s what I’m hoping anyway. Offensively, we should be more skilled than we have been. We have a lot of athleticism, but we have to work on our defense.”
And with so many new faces to be counted on, it’s not a surprise that Terry cites chemistry as the key to the season.
“We got a lot of guys right there close together, so I think the key is just finding some chemistry and finding some groups that work well together,” he added. “We have to find a style that works for us and we as coaches have to be able to manage all that personnel. I think a lot of that will play itself out, but we have a lot of question marks right now.”
Heritage’s Will Allen crashes into Gordon Lee’s Wiley Heming during a game at Heritage earlier this season. Whitsett on his way to the basket during the season-opener in Boynton on Nov. 15. Heritage’s Nolan Letzgus drives past Gordon Lee’s Timothy