The Middle School boys basketball team after winning the area championship. Photo by Tawanna Rorey.
The Middle School boys basketball team recently claimed its third Athens area championship in the program’s history. The Spartans finished the 2020 season with a 10-2 record while being undefeated at home. With terrific rebounding by Ben Shar, Rylan Marley, and Jack Kelly, great three-point shooting by Westbrook Adams, great hustle by Boone Presnell, and stellar ball handling by Kymel Willams and Isaac Rorey, this team was unstoppable.
But these seven couldn’t do it by themselves. It was a team effort, said Coach Darren Hollis (“Coach D”): “It’s the bench players pushing each other in practice and giving the starters the looks that helps them for the games.” The student section also lit it up this season. “We fed off their energy,” Ben Shar described. Many students came to the games to support the team, and the cheerleaders did too.
Ever since they won the championship in 2017, the Middle School boys basketball teams have had disappointing results. After a 4-12 season in 2018 and a 7-7 season in 2019, 2020 was the year. One difference this year was the new head coach, Darren Hollis, who coached this team to near perfection. “It starts in practice,” he said. Overall, this may have been the best middle school basketball team in Athens Academy history, and we can’t wait for them to win championships in high school.