WARRENTON, Ga. - A construction project.
That's how Warren County High School Head Coach Levon Grant describes his boys' varsity basketball team this season.
"We're like a construction project - a work in progress," said Coach Grant, who made his debut as the new coach three weeks ago.
Just as a foreman sees a construction project coming together, Coach Grant is seeing the same thing with his team's improvements after only a few games.
"We look a lot better than we did in the first couple of games that we played," said Coach Grant. "...This team has made a lot of strides so far and I'm expecting them to make a lot more."
Despite being young, the Screaming Devils are a spirited and competitive team. And they perform well in the classroom.
Coach Grant is emphatic about his team possessing those three ingredients.
"I want them to achieve in the classroom just like I want them to achieve on the basketball court," said Coach Grant. "I especially want them to get their education, though, because that's something that will stay with them the rest of their lives."
Thus far, he said he's proud of his team's focus and commitment to that particular value.
"I want them to rely on the books and to be of good, sound character," said Coach Grant.
Warren County finished with an impressive 15-8 record last season and the new basketball coach would love nothing better than to match that record or do even better.
Right now, Coach Grant says he doesn't want to bog his team down with lots of expectations.
"We want to be successful, but there are many ways to be successful," said Coach Grant. "This team has told me that they are focused and committed. That's good enough for me. We'll just see if that's true."
One of the things he likes about his team is that they are able to make adjustments so well.
"Being able to do things like that well can be very beneficial," said Coach Grant. "I feel like we're laying the groundwork to have a really good team this season."
Some of the players being counted on heavily this season at Warren County include Montavious "Tay" Erwin, the team's junior point guard; sophomore center Greg Howard; junior guard Stanley Johnson and senior Jonathan Lewis.
"We're counting on all four of those players to help us a lot this season," said Coach Grant.
He said those four will be the nucleus of the team.
Other players on the team include: Jacquez Moss, Dominique Hall, Dondracus Dozier, Cornelius Pinkston, Steve Burley, Edricus Williams, Alonzo Benton, Jacquon Jackson, Michael Scott, Desmond Ficklin, Dementria Shelton and Darius Jenkins.
"We're looking for big things from several of those players, too," added Coach Grant.
Some of the things that the Screaming Devils must do better as a team this season are to rebound, guard opposing players tougher and to take better percentage shots, pointed out the new coach.
He also believes his team must be strong when handling the ball and to be patient, offensively.
Coach Grant has tried to inspire his team with a famous quote from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who worked as a pastor and civil rights leader. Posters of Dr. King's quote can be seen on the gym wall. It reads: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy."
Coach Grant also has a strong personal faith in God.
"I like to think that God actually leads our team," said Coach Grant.
The Screaming Devils were back in action on Tuesday night against the Greene County Tigers. They will be involved in a tournament in Louisville on Dec. 29. Results of those games will be included in a story in next week's edition.