ELKIN - Basketball season tips off around the area tomorrow night.
The Buckin’ Elks return to the hardwood tomorrow in the season-opening double-header against North Surry in a non-conference tilt at home.
Coming off an 8-8 season in Mountain Valley Conference play, the Elkin boys have sky-high expectations heading into the season.
Returning four key seniors in Sam Lane, Chris Hudspeth, Frank Miller and Trey King, the Elks will have the core of last year’s squad coming back.
“I’m going to expect us to win next year. My goal right now is to win the conference, that means the whole thing, not just 1A,” second-year head coach Kenneth Abrams explained. “I can set a low goal and meet that low goal, but I want to be challenged. And that means I have to be ready mentally to coach these kids.”
Abrams said he will be looking to Lane, a returning all-conference performer and a potential conference player of the year candidate this season, to lead the Elks.
“I’m really looking for Sam to lead this team, and he knows that,” he said. “If he can stick out like a sore thumb and be a positive leader, the other kids will jump on his back and ride him. He has been the leading scorer the past couple of years for us and is a great shooter from the inside and outside.
“He has all the qualities for the game; he’s a very smart player. He knows what’s going on a few steps ahead. I just want him to be a little more physical inside,” Abrams added.
For the Lady Elks, a new-look club will take the floor against one of the top 2A teams in the state tomorrow night to kick off their season.
After losing four key players off last year’s squad - including 1,000 point scorer and leader Samantha Dimmette - Elkin will turn to a slew of younger talent.
Junior Courtney Beals, an all-conference honorable mention last season, will lead the young Elks, along with Carrie Brown and Ashlen Rector.
Junior varsity call-ups Kaitlin Faw and Makayla Dimmette saw action late last year, but will have to play a bigger role this season.
The varsity Elks tip off following JV action tomorrow night, with the Lady Elks getting underway around 6:30 p.m.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.