ROYAL CITY — Royal’s boys basketball program is readying for another season as many of the players are arriving late to the team after a championship run in football.
Knights head coach Ray Valle said it’s hard for him to tell what he has with the team so far, losing so much from last season in addition to players arriving later.
“We had a good summer, but we really still don’t know who’s going where and who’s been working on their game since summer time,” Valle said. “But we’ve got athletes. Our expectations are high, I always set them pretty high.”
Having players missing early practices due to a deep playoff run in football is nothing new for Valle, as the Royal coach said he looks to mostly drill in fundamentals early on. Getting their shots back and just simply getting a ball back in their hands is a good start, Valle said.
“It’s tough to get back into their brain so quickly within a week, so the last few years we’ve just been stressing fundamentals the first two weeks and then take that into the first few games and incorporate the other stuff later,” Valle said. “It’s tough.”
Royal will look to lean on some of it’s older guys this season, including Tyler Allred, Caleb Christensen and Cooper Christensen.
“Tyler is a really good leader for us, even last year at times,” Valle said. “He’ll be one of the seniors this year so I expect him to step up in that role. And he did this summer.”
Moving into the season, Valle isn’t sure where his team will fall when the season ends in a few months just yet, taking things one step at a time.
“We go for our league championship first,” Valle said. “I expect the boys to practice with and play with, and have, and stress everyday that championship attitude.”
With a number good teams to go up against in the South Central Athletic Conference East, Valle expects a battle every night. The Royal head coach said it will be interesting to see where everything ends up this season, and said he just wants to make sure his team’s effort is always at a high level.