WSN football success pushing back basketball
Published 6:19 pm Monday, November 6, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
As wide receivers and defensive backs coach, Robbie Grace is obviously enjoying the success of the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles football program.
As W.S. Neal boys basketball coach, Grace admits football's success keeps that program on the backburner.
For one thing, 15 of W.S. Neal's 21 basketball players are still involved with football. Approximately eight to 10 of those players are varsity members.
Making matters even more difficult for Grace is the school has not filled its vacant junior varsity coaching position. Mitchell Turberville filled that role last year, but left the school last spring to become head football coach at Monroe Academy.
Grace has already postponed W.S. Neal's original season opener against Escambia County, which was slated for Nov. 17. That contest has now been rescheduled for Dec. 4.
If W.S. Neal has a deep advancement in the football postseason, Grace indicated more basketball dates will fall. The next games that could go would be a Nov. 27 home game against Georgiana, a Nov. 28 trip to Red Level and a Nov. 30 contest at Flomaton.
One problem with too many postponements is those games could get cancelled instead of rescheduled.
Grace said it was theoretically possible W.S. Neal's season could begin with the Escambia County Tournament slated for Dec. 14-16 at T.R. Miller.
week,” Grace said. “It would be tough to start out with a tournament because we'd have to play on back-to-back-to-back days. On top of that, we have our own tournament scheduled right after the county tournament.”
Inexperience combined with a later start could complicate matters even further.
Grace said there is a transition time from football to basketball time in terms of conditioning.