Oct 31, 2012
Russ Frazier led Northwood's boys basketball program down the road of success. In six seasons, Frazier's teams appeared in three eastern regionals, advancing to two state runner-up finishes. Beginning this season, Frazier will look to instill the same culture of winning at a school that has struggled to win in basketball in recent years.
"Being at Leesville Road," said Frazier, "I'm just excited. I love what I see. At this point in time, our goal is to get better every day, and the best thing that I have seen is that we have the effort to try and make that happen. We are trying to get better every day. We're trying to exceed expectations."
"We've been working hard, getting better every day," said senior forward Reggie Jones. "It's been a lot harder, especially in the beginning. It's been a lot harder, tougher, but we've been working at it, getting better and it brought us together as a team. The chemistry is just a lot better than in the past. We're just bonding as a team, bonding with the coach, he's a great guy. We got used to him pretty quick, so everything's going pretty well."
The players on this year's Leesville Road team believes they can compete with every team they play, even in a very tough Cap 8 conference.
"We were a lot closer last year than the prior years before, but this year I feel like we have the right tools. We have the right players, the right chemistry, and now adding a new coach, I think putting all that together can make us a top contender," said Jones.
"I think we'll have a winning season," said junior forward Brandon Staves. "That's how confident I am going into the season, just because of all the hard work we've put in going into the season. We've been in the weight room a few days a week, we've been doing conditioning, we've just been doing things to get better."
"They're coming slowly but surely, and they're coming with leaps and bounds instead of baby steps and I've been very impressed with that," said Frazier.
Frazier will be building a program in a conference that has produced three regional teams in the last two years, as well as the state runner-up in 2011.
"It's the Cap 8. It doesn't get much better than this in this state," said Frazier. "That's any classification, any league. This is the best of the best. This is what I want to do. This is where I want to be, and this is where I want to build it at. Where I was at before, it was the same type of thing in the Mid-State. At this level to get better you have to be able to put in the work and have patience with it."
You know the standard and you have to either match the intensity, match that standard, or try to exceed it."
We have to win every day we go to work. When they get here at 7:18, and when the hell rings at 2:18, and then practice starts – we have to win every day."
"We all came together as a team, we discussed goals, and what we need to do to get to that point. We all feel like we can get there. It's going to take a lot of hard work, it's not going to come right away, but eventually I feel like we can get to that goal and we can reach it," said Jones.
"I think we can beat anybody," said senior guard Shyheid Petteway. "We've been working in the gym, the weight room, track, every day, non-stop. Since day one he puts us to work, and we've just been keeping that going, being the best he can be."
Frazier doesn't want his team to get ahead of itself though. Although he's encouraged by what he's seen in the off season, Frazier says real progress takes time.
"Learning how to win is a hard thing to do," Frazier said. "We'll have to learn to match their intensity. I'll give you an example, Leesville Road football expects to win. Millbrook basketball expects to win. We need to learn how to win, so we have to match that. Once we learn how to match that, then our expectation will come."
It's hard to beat a person that never quits. And if they show their teammates that they're trying as hard as they can, and if we're doing something in the weight room that seems like it's impossible to do, just continue to try. And that's contagious."
The more they try, the harder they work, and the more they see each other doing that, the harder it is to give up."
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