After a pair of sub.-500 seasons, third-year Langley boys’ basketball coach Scott Newman thinks this is the year the Saxons turn things around.
“I feel like we’re ready to turn the corner as a program,” said Newman, a Saxon assistant before taking over as head coach in 2013. “We had a great run when I was [Travis Hess’] assistant and it’s taken us a little time to reboot things, but ... this is my favorite team since I’ve been the head coach at Langley.”
Why does Newman think so highly of this group? It starts with seniors Nate Shafer, a 6-foot-5 forward, and Tavon Tarpley, a 6-foot-3 guard.
“We have a strong senior class, led in particular by a really dynamic duo of Nate Shafer and Tavon Tarpley," Newman said. "Those two kids are really, really tough players. Nate, to me, is the best 5 man in the region. People can say what they want about the kid over at West Springfield or [Lake Braddock’s] James Butler; those kids might have more of a D-I prospect ... but if you talk about who do I want on my team right now, there’s no one in the region I’d rather have than Nate. He, to me, is a -I player at a D-III height.”
Forwards John Rau (6-7) and Finn Gundersen (6-4), and guard Chris Miner (6-4) are also members of the senior class.
Junior point guard Chas Battaglia, sophomore combo guard Colter Carton and junior guard Grant Hughes are expected to be primary contributors.
Langley dropped its season opener to Osbourn, 51-50, on Dec. 1, and lost to Robinson 52-46 on Tuesda.
Langley will play three games in the Bahamas Dec. 1012 and will return to face South Lakes on the road on Dec. 15.