Tiger Coach John Sanders Sizes up 2020-21 Basketball Season (View video here)

November 18, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County High School Basketball Teams will be ready to hit the court running Tuesday and Friday night with Hall of Fame action.

Whitehouse comes to town Tuesday night, November 17 with the girls game at 6 p.m. followed by the boys showdown at DCHS. The Tigers and Lady Tigers will then travel to Pickett County on Saturday night, November 21 starting with girls play at 5 p.m. followed by the boys.

Attendance will be limited in the gym due to COVID-19.

In a WJLE Tiger Talk video interview Friday , Tiger Coach John Sanders  talked about the upcoming season. (View video of Lady Tiger Coach Danny Fish in earlier post)

DCHS Tiger Basketball Coach John Sanders from dwayne page on Vimeo.

“The preparation has gone well. It was a little different for a while but the team has worked really hard in the off season and I have been proud of them. We have tried to follow all of the guidelines and do the best we can to make sure that we get to play as long as we can,” said Coach Sanders.

The Tigers are hoping to improve on last year’s 7-22 finish but will have to do it without the senior leadership of Dakota White, Dallas Cook, Michael Elswick, and Alan Munoz who have graduated.

Three seniors make up the Tiger roster this year in Luke Jenkins, Evan Jones, and Aidan Curtis.

“Luke and Evan are three year players who have played a lot the last couple of years so we are looking for them to be our anchors this year and give us a lot on both ends of the floor. Aidan is new but he brings athleticism and good size. He has a lot to learn but we are hoping he can come in and make a quick impact right away”.

“We have three juniors, Nathaniel Crook, Brayden Antoniak, and Jordan Young. Brayden and Jordan played a lot last year. We look for all three of them to play a lot this year. Jordan and Brayden will be starters and Nathaniel will come in off the bench. All three of them bring something different to the table and they will be big pieces to the puzzle,” Coach Sanders continued.

“Sophomores who we look to get playing time are Elishah Ramos who was Freshman of the Year in our district last year. He got to play a lot as a freshman so we will depend on him to get the ball up and down the floor for us as well as Jordan Young. We really look for him and Jordan to do some scoring for us and be playmakers. Robert Wheeler, another sophomore, didn’t get to play any last year due to a knee surgery he had in November so he hasn’t played since the summer of his freshman year but has made really good progress and is working hard. We are looking for big things out of him. Isaac Brown is another big sophomore. He got to play a lot of Junior Varsity last year. He is long and athletic. Both of those guys (Wheeler and Brown) have worked really hard all of the off season knowing they are going to get an opportunity to play this year so they are trying to be ready to make the most of it. Zack Birmingham is another sophomore and so is Stetson Agee. We expect them to come off the bench and get some playing time along with Conner Close, a freshman. He has had some really good practices early on and shown some signs of promise as well,” said Coach Sanders.

As for the district race, Coach Sanders said there are several contenders including Upperman.

“Upperman is projected to probably be number one again. They lost two seniors and they had one who left and went to Cookeville so they probably are not as deep as in the past but they will still be really good. They have four starters back and they will be tough. York Institute should be pretty good again. They lost three good players but they still have two good ones back from a team that won the region and went to state. Livingston Academy will be tough with Matthew Sells who is a really good scorer. Watertown lost quite a bit but they have some athletes coming back. Watertown has been near the top of the district the last three or four years since they have been in it so you can’t count them out. Cannon County lost a lot. They had a really good team last year but a lot of them graduated although Gus Davenport is coming back and he will be pretty tough. He is a long, athletic guard. Smith County, who finished 8th last year, should be better. They had a lot of young guys playing. I think they will contend in the middle as well as Macon County, who was also pretty young last year. They graduated one. It will be a tough district like it always is,” said Coach Sanders.

Although COVID-19 is still a concern, Coach Sanders said he is hopeful the season can be played out with few if any interruptions

“Our girls team has been quarantined twice. We have been fortunate not to have to quarantine our whole team yet. We have had a few players who have had to quarantine and we are missing a few right now but we are hoping we can make it through the whole season without having to miss any games. Hopefully if we do miss some we can reschedule them but its so uncertain”.

As for game night attendance, “Unfortunately attendance will have to be limited. Based on our gym size I think we are going to allow and TSSAA recommends one third capacity so we will allow about 325 to 350 people in at the max. Tickets will go on sale the day of the games but they will not be sold at the gate so get your tickets early and come support us,” Coach Sanders concluded.

The 2020-21 DCHS Basketball Schedule is as follows:
(*) denotes District 8 AA games.
(^) denotes Region 4 AA games

Game times listed start with girls game followed by boys contest

Tuesday, November 17: White House (Hall of Fame)- Home- 6 p.m.
Saturday, November 21: Pickett County (Hall of Fame)-Away- 5 p.m.
Monday, November 23: Warren County-Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, November 24: Red Boiling Springs- Home- 6 p.m.
Saturday, November 28: ^Grundy County-Away- 6 p.m.
Monday, November 30: ^Sequatchie County-Home- 6 p.m.

Friday, December 4: *York Institute- Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, December 8: *Livingston Academy- Away- 6 p.m.
Friday, December 11: *Watertown- Home- 6 p.m.
Thursday, December 17-Saturday, December 19: Sonic Shootout (boys and girls)- Sparta- TBA

Tuesday, January 5: Warren County-Home- 6 p.m.
Friday, January 8: *Cannon County-Away- 6 p.m.
Saturday, January 9: ^Sequatchie County-Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, January 12: *Upperman-Home- 6 p.m.
Friday, January 15: *Macon County-Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, January 19: *Smith County-Home- 6 p.m.
Friday, January 22: *York Institute- Home- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, January 26: *Livingston Academy- Home-6 p.m.
Friday, January 29: *Watertown- Away- 6 p.m.
Saturday, January 30: ^Grundy County-Home- 6 p.m.

Tuesday, February 2: *Cannon County-Home- 6 p.m.
Friday, February 5: *Upperman- Away- 6 p.m.
Tuesday, February 9: *Macon County- Home- 6 p.m. (Senior Night)
Thursday, February 11: *Smith County- Away- 6 p.m.
Friday, February 12: Red Boiling Springs-Away-6 p.m.

Lady Tiger Roster:

Megan Cantrell- Guard- Senior

Ellie Cripps-Guard-Senior

Hannah Willingham-Guard-Senior

Grace Griffin-Forward-Senior

Kadee Ferrell-Forward-Junior

Kennedy Agee-Guard-Junior

Summer Crook-Forward-Junior

Natalie Snipes-Guard-Junior

Madison Martin-Forward-Sophomore

Xharia Lyons-Guard-Sophomore

Ella VanVranken-Guard-Freshman

Cadee Griffith-Guard-Freshman

Ella Hendrixson-Guard-Freshman

Tess Barton-Center-Freshman

Alyssa Crook-Center-Freshman

Camryn Branin-Forward-Freshman

Ally Fuller-Forward-Freshman

Makayla Scales-Forward-Freshman

Managers: Elisabeth Seber, Jenna Wright, Zoe Cripps, and Maleah Ruch. Assistant Coaches, Maddison Parsley and Hanah Panter. Head Coach Danny Fish.

Tiger Roster:

Luke Jenkins-Senior

Aidan Curtis-Senior

Evan Jones-Senior

Jordan Young-Junior

Nathaniel Crook-Junior

Brayden Antoniak-Junior

Robert Wheeler-Sophomore

Elishah Ramos-Sophomore

Isaac Brown-Sophomore

Zack Birmingham-Sophomore

Stetson Agee-Sophomore

Conner Vance-Sophomore

Connor Paladino-Sophomore

Andrew Tramel-Sophomore

Ian Colwell-Freshman

Conner Close-Freshman

Kaleb Spears-Freshman

Alex Antoniak-Freshman

Jacob Hendrix-Freshman

Marquez Chalfant-Freshman

Managers- Aiden Whitman, Brayden Summers, Courtney London, and Summer Pedigo. Head Coach John Sanders. Assistant Coaches Logan Vance and Seth Hackett.

DCHS Basketball Cheerleaders

Presley Agee-Senior Captain

Makayla Cook-Junior Co-Captain

Evie Day-Junior

Chloe Hale-Junior

Kyleigh Hill-Junior

McKenzie Pack-Junior Co-Captain

Hannah Lohorn-Sophomore

Katherine Gassaway-Sophomore

Katie Patterson-Sophomore

Kortnee Skeen-Sophomore

Kenlee Taylor-Sophomore

Morgan Walker-Sophomore

Carlee West-Sophomore

Amelia Atnip-Sophomore

Hope Bain-Freshman

Zoi Hale-Freshman

Elaina Turner-Freshman