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CATCHING UP WITH: Edgewood Academy Wildcats

Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher

Photos by Brian Tannehill | Director of Photography

CENTRAL ALABAMA SCOREBOARD OFFICE – The Edgewood Academy Wildcats – unlike their female counterparts – haven’t seen the shots landing as frequently, falling to 4-9 on the year with a match-up against Georgia’s Bethlehem Christian in the first round of the Lakeside School Tournament bringing forth the end of the 2021 season.

“We are a bit disappointed where we are at this point in the season,” said Darryl Free, Wildcats Basketball Coach. “We have played well in spurts against some of the best teams in our league but haven’t been able to translate that into wins. We are still learning what it takes to win on a nightly basis and how to finish games. Numerous times we have held leads late in games and were not able to finish. That starts with me and we will continue to work and get better.”

Edgewood knocked off Coosa Valley and then suffered a string of defeats before clipping Fort Dales wings to start December. Since then, the Wildcats have picked up wins over Hooper and Lakeside but will finish the 2021 half of the season with a sub-.500 record.

Free: “We knew our schedule would be difficult to start the season. We feel we have not played up to our potential to this point and our schedule will only get more difficult as we continue into December. The ultimate goal is to have our guys’ battle tested and ready for Area play come January. Our goal right now is to focus on us getting better each time we step on the floor as a team and learn how to finish games. The ability to finish will come from confidence and confidence comes from the level of work our guys commit to. We have a standard we hold ourselves to and as of now we haven’t met that standard. The silver lining is we have a good group of guys that are going to give it their all to get us back on track. I have no doubts we will get there but it will take hard work.”

If the goal is to have your team battle-tested heading into the games that matter – it makes sense then that the leading scorer would be a kid named Champion.

Free: ”Austin Champion has been our leader. With working in so many new pieces it is important to have that constant leader and Austin has played that role for us so far.”

Champion – who had no problem tossing dimes on the gridiron –is just as productive on the hardwood averaging around 16 points per game. Unlike the Lady Wildcats – Champion has a bit of help with Cooper Hall averaging eight points and Brody Whitt chipping in with an average of six. The trio has been just as sporty on the defensive side of the court – combining to average around 14 rebounds per game.

Following the Lakeside School Tournament, the Wildcats will return to the court January 3 at Coosa Valley and then will host Lee-Scott January 4.

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, managing editor, currently working for the City of Tallassee as a Public Information Specialist and grant writer.

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