Thursday, July 14, 2011
MA ends summer work with strong showing at MRA
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Patriots finished 13-2 last week at the Madison Ridgeland Academy Team Camp.
“It was one of the best overall records one of my teams has had at the MRA Camp,” head basketball coach Craig Dailey said.
The Class AA Patriots lost to Class AAA Jackson Prep, which won the camp, and to big school MRA, which Marshall beat soundly the day before.
“Beating MRA at MRA is tough once, but it is even tougher the second time,” he said. “It’s an unfriendly atmosphere and that’s even better preparation for Overall, because it will not be much different then or when we play them at their place in the regular season.
“The boys played some very high level basketball and had a lot of fun spending time together.
“There is great chemistry with this group of young men; they are as close a group as I have coached. Their bond will bode well when the heat is on.
“It is going to be a fun year.”
He said Peyton Lewis is coming into his own and has all the tools to be a dominant player.
“He just has to keep developing,” Coach Dailey said. “His offensive versatility gave most teams fits.”
Dailey said Chase Ferrell had one of the best all-around camps of any of his players ever.
“His ‘reckless abandon’ mentality makes him the tremendous player he is, but the physicality of MRA Camp can really take its toll and it did,” he said. “I am proud of how he battled through pain.”
He said Matt Rappa had a solid camp.
“He solidified my feelings about his potential with his showing this week,” Dailey said. “He has definitely earned some major minutes. He brings a lot to the table when he is on the floor.”
He said Dakota Dailey grew up a lot during the camp.
“Dakota’s MRA game, which we won, gives me a lot of confidence that he is ready to make a move,” Coach Dailey said. “If he can continue to play at that level, we have a shot at another banner and will be a tough out that next week in February.”
Dailey said Brad Bennett possibly progressed farther than anyone during the week.
“He had a couple big defensive games and has learned that shooting isn’t the only thing that will gain you playing time,” he said.
He said Andy Burleson upped his level of play.
“Andy lit Central Private up and had some big time minutes throughout the week,” Dailey said. “His confidence should be really high as mine is in him. He did a heck of a job subbing in as coach of two B games when my voice gave out.”
Kevin Fitzpatrick contributed Friday after playing baseball in Atlanta, Ga., earlier in the week.
“Kevin came to Jackson on the last day of camp and allowed us to get a look at the big schools with our full contingent,” Dailey said. “I appreciate him showing his dedication in this way.”
“I have said every summer, from the first team I coached to now, championship teams are not made from November to February. They are made in the summer months.”
He said the rest of his Patriots also contributed greatly during the week.
“Kirby (Jones), Jacob (Driggers) and Josh (Mask) had some big A team and B team minutes,” Dailey said. “Three of my junior high players (Thomas Faulkenbery, Tobe West and Stephen Elgin) made the trip and got a lot out of the week.”
Dailey, whose Patriots are coming off a state championship last season, expects another tremendous year.
“MRA Camp is always a great gauge for season potential and the possibilities look endless,” he said.
“I had several coaches I have competed against for years say they thought this was my best team ever.
“We have a lot of getting better, but it definitely looks promising.”
MRA Camp wrapped up the summer work.
“I would like to thank those young men that dedicated their time this summer to our ‘We Believe’ program and I hope we can reward ourselves with another ring and possibly that yet to be obtained goal (Overall).
“As one coaching buddy of mine said, ‘Craig you gotta shot.’ Yes we do, but a lot of fish to fry between now and then. It should be a fun ride again though.”
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