BOAZ, AL – The Snead State Community College basketball teams will tip-off Friday night at home in Plunkett-Wallace Gymnasium.
The Lady Parsons will take on Georgia Highlands at 5:30 p.m. Men's action will follow at 7:30 p.m. against Northwest Florida State.
Following one of the best seasons in the 2000s, the Lady Parsons closed out last season with a loss to Wallace Hanceville in the semifinals of the Alabama Community College Conference Tournament. It was their first winning campaign since posting a 15-10 record in 2011-2012.
"We have four returning sophomores that will give us an abundant amount of minutes this season," said Coach Jarrod Plummer, who's in his ninth season.
"We bring back Shaynn Nance, a guard who started for us last season. We also have newcomer Tirenique Broadwater, who is long, lean and very athletic."
Returning sophomores Khadaja Gardner, Jon'Nita Henry, Diamones Spraggins and Nance have already laid down the ground work of being consistent for the Lady Parsons.
"We are much deeper and more skilled than what we were last season. Subbing in and out of games shouldn't be a problem, because we won't miss a beat," said Plummer.
The Lady Parsons finished 21-12 last season, going 4-6 in regular season conference play.
"Our main goal is to win the national tournament while being a 20 plus winning team. We've set the tone early for ourselves this season by growing as a team more and more every day.
"We also strive to keep our team above a 3.0 like we did last season," said Plummer.
New to the women's team is former Snead State player Michelle Swopes. Swopes, who played for Plummer in 2012-2014, joined the team as the assistant coach this summer.
Coach Jeremiah Patterson is the new leader for the men's team this year. Patterson was named head coach in March after spending three seasons as the Parsons' assistant coach.
"There have definitely been a lot of changes for us this season. Our team definitely has a new structure and work ethic, and we hope to carry a championship attitude throughout the season," said Patterson.
Patterson, who is joined by second year Associate Head Coach Dylan Johnson, feels maintaining the mentality of never backing down from any contest is essential to the team's success. The two are certainly looking to improve on last year's 8-22 record.
"Our first home game Friday will be a huge test for us," said Patterson. "They're the pre-season no. 1 team in the NJCAA national rankings. Their size, skill and athleticism will be a fun and tough non-conference competition.
"We are going to play some quality teams, and I genuinely feel our guys enjoy competition. The new system offensively and defensively is something we are anxious to see against other teams. However, regardless of X's and O's, our mode of operation is to play hard."
Sophomore Ryan Dupree is Snead State's lone returning starter and point guard from last season.
"He's a solid leader for us. He is our best communicator and has improved drastically in several facets since the previous season. He's played a lot of minutes, adding a lot of game experience at this level. His maturity at point guard will be a big help to us," said Patterson.
Sophomores Darrell Foster and Quan Cothron will be strong and tough on the wings and have the ability to play multiple positions. Kyante Pines is also a strong wing for Snead State.
"(Center) Chandler Davis, (guard) Jacob Hyde, (guard) Trai James and (forward) Payton Youngblood are mature freshmen who may be key players to watch for in our league this season," said Patterson.
"We want to win the NJCAA Region XXII Championship this year and make the national tournament. We have three foundations of our program that's going to help us get there – hard work, unselfish players and no fear."
Conference season for both teams will begin in January. Homecoming at Snead State has been slated for Monday, Feb. 13, when the Parsons take on Southern Union.