Young Chargers starting fresh

Published 11:57 am Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Central High School’s varsity boys basketball team entered rebuilding mode in the offseason, knowing that 10 of its 14 players from last season were graduating, and now the Chargers will look to establish their new identity this season.

During the summer, “our team hit the weight room, and we had a few in the gym on a regular basis,” Central Head Coach Mike McGrath said.

The 2017-18 Chargers finished 5-15 overall, with their season ending in the Region 1B quarterfinals.

Graduation claimed four players from that team that had been starters for multiple years: L.J. Watson, Darryl Jones, Ethan Hoover and Ben Spencer.

This year, Central features six juniors, three sophomores and three seniors.

“We will be young in our backcourt with our two sophomores, Tyler McGrath and Cameron Kates,” Coach McGrath said. “Our junior wings will be returners, T’zion Wilkerson and Darien Jones, along with a new addition, (junior guard) Khalil Wood, in the rotation. Down low we will have (senior forward) Khalil Moore, and spelling him will be a combo of (junior forward) Matthew Warren, (junior forward) Shammond Sellers and (sophomore forward) Mark Strigel.”

The coach noted that seniors Trey Patterson and Nehemiah Wood and junior Davion Taylor will give the Chargers depth at the guard and wing positions.

“As for leaders, we need to gel together and see who emerges,” he said.

Central will not have to wait long for tough James River District (JRD) challenges.

“We open with some of the toughest in the JRD, with Goochland, Buckingham and Cumberland,” McGrath said. “Our pre-Christmas break schedule will show us where we need to improve, and hopefully after the break we can gain some momentum and find our ID as a team.”

The Chargers had been slated to open their season at home against Goochland High School on Tuesday, but that was postponed. The JRD website lists their season as now opening Friday, Dec. 7, when they are set to visit Buckingham County High School. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.