Monday, November 16, 2009

Season Preview

The defending Class A champion Bridgton Academy Wolverines look ahead to the challenges of the 2009-2010 season with their usual roster of young postgraduate men from across the country complimented by three dynamic international student-athletes. The early indications for the Wolverines are that once again they will play with a bevy of guards as only four players stand above 6'5".

The backcourt features a blend of talents and will likely be led by the play of two point guards, Alexander Harris (Richmond, CA) and Theirno Niang (Dakar, Senegal). Local product Derek Mayo (Orlando, FL) and Teandre Hubbard (San Francisco, CA) will likely see some action handling the ball.

BA possesses an assortment of wings likely to make valuable contributions. Dashaun Wiggins (Bronx, NY), Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN), Ruben Kanya (Hamilton, Ontario), Kevin Anthony (Columbus, OH), Addison Williams (Boulder, CO), and Paul Dick (Belfast, Ireland) will anchor the positions off the ball. Inside BA will count on Ron Blossomgame (Atlanta, GA), Jeff Smelz (Pascoag, RI), and Justin Miller (Agawam, MA) to provide a physical front.

There is no mistaking the "small-ball" look to the overall lineup. It's hard to figure the Wolverines playing with a size advantage against any of their NEPSAC rivals. Once again, the outlook for the league is extremely competitive with several schools featuring players who rank among the tops in the country. The league will feature a new North-South division structure that will incorporate all ten teams into the Class A play-offs to conclude the season. BA will compete with MCI, Exeter, New Hampton, and Brewster for the rights to higher seeds in the tournament. The South will include St. Thomas More, South Kent, NMH, Worcester, and Winchendon. It's a bold step forward for a conference that has long been hailed as the best sub college varsity league in the nation but has also drawn criticism for its lack of a clear-cut play-off formula. BA Coach Whit Lesure applauds the vision and direction of the league. "This is a fantastic move ahead for our league. There are historically too many good programs that not only deserve the opportunity to participate in the post-season, but can now benefit by earning their placement within a legitimate league structure. This change addresses those realities."

Bridgton Academy has won four out of the last five championships including a run of three consecutive titles from 2005-2008. It's difficult to imagine that sort of streak continuing within a landscape so competitive at the top but then again few would have imagined the magical March run the Wolverines have enjoyed in recent memory. It's another wild basketball season on the horizon in the NEPSAC and the only rule is that almost anything can happen.

No comments: