In Jonas Ankrom’s first season as the head coach of the Rappahannock boys’ basketball team, his players were undefeated after five games. Unfortunately, the next 13 games didn’t go as well, with the team dropping 12 of them, failing to reach the postseason.
But for Ankrom and his players, it is all about learning from past mistakes and taking those lessons to the championship.
“It’s a huge motivation when I point that out to them all the time that just because you win a game doesn’t mean anything,” said Ankrom. “I tell them you have got a long season…just because you reach your goal in one game you have got to keep looking forward to the next win.”
Since the start of the school year, players from have been working out and preparing for the season ahead as one of the youngest teams in the Northern Neck District.
After watching their girls team win the regional championship last year, Ankrom said he hopes that attitude of determination will rub off on his team.
“Its’ about playing your best basketball in February,” Ankrom said. “They got hot at the right time and won quite a few games, won the region tournament and ended up having a great season because of it.”
Seven of the boys’ team varsity players were on the football team this season, Ankrom said, adding that the challenge will be getting them all ready for the season.
Returning for the Raiders this season includes returners Tevin Fisher, Tyler Spear and Kilivante Newton. Newton is recovering from a fractured fiba bone, Ankrom said, adding that he hopes to have him back before the regular district season begins in January.
Ankrom said he has high hopes for top newcomer Kelvonte Ellis, who he projects to be a great standout athlete in the district.
“We have a young and inexperienced, but we’re more athletic this year than last,” Ankrom said. “How well we play as a group unselfishly we’ll determine our success this year.”
Rounding out the team this season includes DeShawn Thompson, Howard Plummer, Tylek Sorell, JaQuann Thompson, Tevin Fisher, Marcus Byrd, Eamonn Collins, Marcus Ball and Dominique Fletcher.
Daries Brooks Ronald Johnson, Justin Wilmouth,
Devin Sission, Jarrett Gordon, Andre Brown, Thomas Lewis, LaQuan Brown, Michael Gaines, Maliek Veney and Javon Gillis.
Rappahannock will open the season on the road at Mathews on Nov. 29, return home after three road games to host Mathews on Dec. 11 and last year’s defending region playoff team Middlesex on Dec. 14. Games on all nights start at 6 p.m. with the JV followed by the Varsity.
On Dec. 28, Rappahannock’s Varsity Basketball Teams and will travel to Washington & Lee for the Golden Eagles Booster Club Classic beginning at 6 p.m. with the girls followed by the boys afterwards. Rappahannock will begin the district regular season on the road at Colonial Beach on Jan. 4. The JV will tip off first at 6 p.m. followed by the Varsity.