Deerfield is definitely at it again! Wow, what a boy’s basketball team they have this year when it was supposed to be a rebuilding year for them … just like football this year. And you know what happened in football — a state championship!
My wife and I attended the first game, which was at home against Brookwood, but missed the next two away games versus Stratford and Mt. Vernon. They lost both of those away games and, yes, at that time, it DID look like this year would be a rebuilding year for sure. But, after that, when the football players got their basketball legs, and the other young players stepped up, things started to change with two big wins against Mt. DeSales and Tattnall in Macon. I listened to these games on 90.7 FM and man did we start getting excited by what we heard.
Then, my wife and I attended the home game versus Central Fellowship because we wanted to see just how good this “rebuilding” team was becoming. Central Fellowship was a good team with one player that could slam the ball through the hoop! He was exciting to watch and one of his slams caused everyone in the gym, on both sides, to stand up and cheer. I know that I surely did! But he was only able to do that ONCE and then we shut him down. We basically shut the entire Central Fellowship team down. We just pressed the heck out of them and our players looked better and better as the game progressed.
Two of our great players from last year, Banks Kinslow and Romello Carter, started to look great again and Romello looked like a sure-fire All-Stater. He made moves that you would expect only from a seasoned player that had been playing a long time and not just a sophomore!
I told Romello’s father last year that he was going to be a superstar if he continued to work hard, was a team player and kept his head screwed on straight. Well, he looked great against Central Fellowship and pumped in 31 points, his career high. His only weakness that night was his free-throw shooting, but I expect that to change. He is too good to shoot 50 percent or less, as I think he did. That was very unusual and normally caused by not yet being in shape. I think that he is capable of shooting 80 percent or higher.
It wasn’t just Banks and Romello that starred against Central Fellowship. We have others, some of them quite young and improving each game, and I expect big things from them as the season rolls along. I am talking about Sam Shellhaas, Tyrone Culbreth (he had 20 points and 12 rebounds!), Zack Cleland, and Pete Langstaff. Actually, there are others that I could name who soon may be stars and give this team the boost needed to make it a championship team. I don’t want to say too much more at this point and put a curse on them.
I expect big things out of them before the season is over. In fact, I think that this team has the potential to be BETTER than last year’s. All you Deerfield followers out there, you better make your reservations for the Final Four at the end of the season. Coach Gruhl knows how to make champions and he has the material that he needs to make dreams come true.
Written by Ted Anderson. Insurance agent Ted W. Anderson worked in sales for half a century, has lived in Albany since 1993. He is president of Dover Lane Neighborhood Watch. Send email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.