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Winter Sports Team Try-Outs, Practice Under Way At HCHS

Halifax County High School was a flurry of activity Monday as the first day of try-outs and practice for the school’s winter sports teams got under way.

The first day was a mixed bag with some coaches being pleased with the number of players that turned out and others scratching their heads when the first day did not produce the results that had been hoped for.

Comets head varsity boys basketball coach Lynn Ramage was greeted by 25 players looking to secure a spot on this year’s edition of the Comets varsity squad.
Unfortunately, the first day did not turn out as well as Ramage had hoped.

“It wasn’t what I had hoped to see,” Ramage said, pointing to a litany of mistakes, mistakes that were not limited to just the newcomers.

“I saw some effort from some of the guys, but not what I expected to see on the first day of try-outs. I was hoping to be able to make my cuts and decide on a team in two days. From what I saw today, it’s probably going to take three days.”

The pool of potential players that Ramage has to choose from consists of players that were eligible to return from last year’s team, a handful of players who were on the junior varsity team last year, and a small sprinkling of newcomers.

However, with nobody truly distinguishing himself on opening day, Ramage noted that he likely will have to wait until the end of today’s session to make a final decision on the players that will suit up for the varsity squad this season.

The competition for spots on the roster, will be intense, Ramage noted.

“It is wide open right now. There are some good kids out there on the floor. It’s going to be a very hard decision to decide on how many players to keep and which players to keep.”

Comets Girls Basketball
Comets varsity girls basketball team coach Matthew McCargo, on the other hand, has easier decisions to make.

Only 13 girls showed up to try out for spots on the team, leaving McCargo with a wide range of options.

“We will decide today whether we will keep them all,” McCargo said yesterday morning.

Six of the players that showed up Monday are players that were on the varsity squad last year. Among those half a dozen players, four of them were starters on a regular basis and the other two played significant minutes.

McCargo said the biggest decision will be whether or not to pare down the squad to 10 or 11 players. A decision to go with 10 or 11 players, McCargo said, is not something that will hurt the team.

In fact, it opens the door a little wider for the option to pull up some of the better junior varsity players to the varsity team if the need arises.
“That is a good option to have,” McCargo said.

“We already know of one or two jayvee players that we think we can move up from time to time that could give us some productivity.”

A key player that is missing from the ranks of the Comets varsity girls team this season is two-time all-district pick Myisha Younger. Younger was one of last year’s team captains.

“She has elected not to play this year,” McCargo said.

“I’m not going to speculate on why. We’re going to miss her. Any time you lose a two-time all-district player it hurts.

“We’re still going to be moving forward,” McCargo added.

“We’re going to be tough. We’re going to be competitive. Our team earned a lot of respect last year. Our schedule this year is going to be the toughest schedule the girls team here has faced in a long time. Nobody is going to be able to look at us on their schedule and count on a win. We’re not going to be a cupcake for anybody.”

A total of 19 players were on hand to try out for spots on the Comets junior varsity team coached by Billy Lucas.

“That’s an excellent number,” McCargo said, “especially when you consider that last year we had only six girls to try out for the junior varsity team and that we had to recruit enough players to field a team.”

Not only are the numbers good, there are some quality players in the fold.

“For some of the girls that will be on the jayvee team, this will be their second year,” McCargo pointed out.

“They were on the team last year as eighth-graders and that experience will help them this year.”

Comets Wrestling
The numbers were a little short when Comets head wrestling coach Brady Taylor met with team members Monday afternoon.

“We’re missing some people today, but I knew ahead of time that we would,” Taylor explained.

“I’m thinking that by the end of the week we will have somewhere between 24 and 30 kids. I would like for us to be able to stay somewhere around that number for the season.”

Seven wrestlers that were on last year’s squad were on hand for the first day of drills, giving the Comets some experience as the team looks ahead to the upcoming season.

Taylor said his goal is to fill each of the 14 weight classes, “which we should be able to do.”