With the Sealy Tigers football season now done, many of the players are now on a quick turnaround as they shift their focus to the basketball season. Players like Tyrek McNeese, A.J. McGee and Clay Roberts will now switch their cleats for sneakers as the team begins play with their finalized varsity roster this week.
The team has already played two road games so far on the season against LaGrange and Caldwell last week. Head Coach Ray Dabney said with many of the players still playing football at that time, the games provided those trying out for the team a valuable chance to prove themselves.
“All the non-football players and try-out kids went out to play those games just to get a feel to see if someone would stick out and perform better than expected that we might want to keep,” Dabney said. “We had a few kids that made a statement so going into try-outs, they have a checkmark next to their names.”
Dabney said figuring out the roster will not be an easy task as try-outs are expected to have 40 students show up. The varsity roster only has 13 spots. Most of those spots will be taken by players that have already established themselves like McNeese, who is one of the few seniors on the team.
“The seniors are going to have to be key components to the leadership role but hopefully some of these young guns will step up too because we have a lot of sophomores and juniors,” Dabney said. “That way we can have two and three year leaders down the road because the seniors will step up for sure.”
Dabney said it is still too early to determine the skillset that his team has and how best to coach it but did say that he understands the need to adapt to what type of players he is given rather than force them into a set system.
He also said that once the varsity roster is set and they begin playing together throughout December, the experience will help the game plan come together naturally.
“You have to find the cogs that fit in certain spots and figuring out the rotations and all of that stuff have to be mixed in and we’re going to find all that out during the season,” Dabney said. “If we get some wins under our belt before districts that’ll really get the system going.”
The Tigers will play in a tournament hosted by Schulenburg on Dec. 7 for three days then travel on the road to El Campo on Dec. 12.