New coaches at Landmark trying to establish winning programs

Mon, 11/21/2005 - 12:57pm
By: Michael Boylan

Landmark Basketball
The basketball season will get underway for Landmark Christian School’s boys and girls at the Arrowhead Classic in Morrow on Monday. It will mark the beginning of a process of rebuilding for both programs and while each team hopes to have a speedy transition in their journey to becoming a solid team, they also know that this year is a building block for future years.

There is not a lot of experience on the Landmark Christian School boys basketball team but first year coach John Price is hoping that a first half of the season populated with big games against teams from AAAA and AAAAA will prepare the War Eagles for their region schedule, which begins in January.

There are four seniors on the team, Stoney Hill, Brandon Orum, Zech Glaize and Ken Johnson, none of whom played significant amounts of time last year. In fact, for two of the seniors, this is their first year playing varsity basketball. The juniors on the team, Brandon Harris, Ryan Lloyd, Jacob Fasci and Scott Berger, are the most experienced but they only have one started from last year’s squad on the team. Price is looking towards his three sophomores, Justin Favors, Matt Thornton and Levi Throckmorton, to contribute significant minutes.

Price, who teaches middle school physical education, came to Landmark Christian from Auburn University-Montgomery and coached for four years before that in Nashville, Tenn. He is hoping to make the team fundamentally sound on defense, thereby establishing the tempo of most games and scoring easy baskets in transition. It will be tough as Landmark is in the very talented region 5-A which is led by South Atlanta Christian Academy, Whitefield Academy and W. D. Mohammed and also features solid programs from the likes of St. Francis and Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy.

The 2005-2006 season will be one in which Price hopes to lay down the foundation for years to come. He knows that they will be playing over their heads for the first 13 games, competing in the tournament in Morrow next week and the Deep South Classic over the Christmas break.

“We have to not get caught up in our record by Christmas,” said Price, adding that it is easy to say but hard to do. Their schedule should prepare them for their tough region matches and they could peak at the right time heading into the region tournament in February.

The Landmark Christian School girls, under former Sandy Creek High School coach Jim Waller, have one major problem heading into the 2005-06 season, lack of depth. The girls that Waller has are working hard in practices but there are only nine of them. In fact, there is only a varsity program this year as there were not enough girls to field a JV team.

The Lady War Eagles are made up of two seniors, one junior, three sophomores and three freshmen. All of the lessons they learn this year should carry over well into the future of the program. Waller is instilling the same work ethic and style of game that all of the teams he has coached in the past exhibited. They play full court pressure defense and try to generate much of their offense from the transition game. In a scrimmage with McIntosh earlier this season, Landmark performed on both of these fronts well, winning 44-30.

Waller, the Director of Transportation at the school, is very happy to be at Landmark Christian School and is excited about working to establish a top notch program there. He praised the faculty, student body and staff of the school, and also gave a lot of credit to Landmark Christian’s new athletic director Ted Knapp, for helping the athletic programs make great strides.

Landmark opens the Arrowhead Classic at Morrow High School on Monday with games against Fayette County starting at 7:30 p.m.

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