By: Lee Ramsey
It’s hard to believe but it’s time to start another basketball season at Seymour High School.
With a clean slate on the record, it’s a great time of the year. Hope springs eternal. This year however, the Eagles are counting on more than just hope. Basketball at Seymour is looking better with each coming season under the guidance of third year Head Coach Brian Jessie.
“It’s really an exciting time; a new season, gym expansion and renovations, a pep band, new assistant coaches and a strong group of players,” Jessie said. “We’ve got a really good senior class and this is definitely my most talented group of players at Seymour.
“That doesn’t mean anything however if we don’t convert on the floor.”
Returning seniors this year will be Logan Jenkins, Bobbo Chesser, Eric White and Mitchell Miller, who according to Jessie are good leaders who know his system and who know how to play the game.
The seniors will be supported by a good group of juniors who saw a lot of playing time last year. They are Peyton Lee, John Lavin, D. J. Griffin and Nick Walker.
Coach Jessie mentioned three sophomores who he said he was excited about; Gunner Gibson, Austin Arrington and Nick Sexton.
Four seniors, four juniors and three sophomores make the Eagles well balanced as far as experience.
Coach Jessie said this freshman class is his most solid group of freshmen he has had since he has been at Seymour.
Another change will be in the assistant coaching staff after the coaches from last year’s team took other jobs.
Danny Rucker who was the assistant basketball coach under Scott Norman at Seymour Middle last year will be the new freshman and varsity assistant coach.
Cody Dixon who played at Pigeon Forge High School and Hiwassee College will be the JV head coach and varsity assistant also.
Another exciting change this season will be upgraded facilities and expansion.
An entire section of stands has been added at the end of the court. It will be the band and student section. The additional seats make Seymour eligible for post-season tournaments.
The pep band should add a lot of excitement to the home games.
Also, the locker rooms have been completely redone with new paint, a new floor and new fixtures.
There will be a new playing surface and a season ticket section in the stands with chair back seats. Call the Seymour High School office for more information on how to purchase season tickets.
As far as season projections, Jessie discussed the upcoming season.
“I think we will be better this year. We lost 5 or 6 games at the buzzer last year,” he said. “That was deflating for our players and it seemed to affect their confidence but they didn’t quit. I only have two players here now who didn’t start with me as their coach.
“We finally have some stability in the program. This is the best shooting team we have had.
“We will use the same system both offensively and defensively as well as additions. I like our size. We have length; long legs, arms and around 6 feet to 6 feet 5 inches. We have more depth. More kids are coming out and we have some transfers.”
Jessie also talked about the tough IMAC league, “It’s a tough schedule but you have to be a good team to beat good teams. Winning cures all.”
The Eagles will host a Christmas Tournament Dec. 27, 28 and 29. There will be local teams as well as teams from other areas such as Alabama, Kentucky and the Memphis area.
Seymour will host the Sevier County Jamboree Nov. 14. The first game will be Nov. 15 at Loudon. The first home game will be against Cosby on Nov. 29.
Seymour Basketball Ready to Start
By: Lee Ramsey