Charles City made the semifinals of the state tournament for the first time in school history last winter. After experiencing such success, the Panthers have a loftier goal this time around.
"This year we have high expectations," said coach Sharone Bailey. "We want to win the state title."
Charles City will go after the Division 1 championship with an experienced group of players. Guard Avery Jones (10 ppg, 7 rpg) is the team leader and, at 5 foot, 8 inches, is a great all-position player, according to Bailey.
Bailey expects 6-4 Daron Jones to have an outstanding year, plus junior guard Antonio Harris (18 ppg) returns as the leading scorer.
Tri-Rivers District competition will come from Surry County, which has won three straight regular-season championships.
Among the private schools, Christchurch, defending VISAA division 3 state champion Williamsburg Christian and Walsingham Academy have significan transfers. Tops is Christchurch, which added 6 foot, 7 inch Devin Robinson from the Richmond area. He's a Rivals 4-star player as a junior.
LAST YEAR: 15-9, reached Divsion 2 state semifinals
COACH: Sharone Bailey
LEAGUE: Tri-Rivers District
THE BUZZ: The Panthers have some needs going into this season. Bailey says rebounding has to improve as does outside shooting. "In order to be successful this year we need to bring the talent that we have on a very deep and athletic team to work as one cohesive unit. Also a little luck would help tremendously," he said. Still, with the players returning, the goal remains the same: the state championship.
LAST YEAR: 28-5, won Prep League tournament
COACH: Ben Thompson
LEAGUE: Virginia Prep League
THE BUZZ: The Seahorses have a talented group of returning players, led by Julian Reed (17.8 ppg), Jamie Wilson (15.8 ppg), Brendan Cole (10.2 ppg) and Prep League tourney MVP Jordan Wallace. Besides Robinson, Nick Douglas, a transfer from Hanover, joins the team. That means the Seahorses are poised to extend their string of seven straight state tournament appearances.
HAMPTON ROADS ACADEMY
LAST YEAR: 17-11
COACH: Max Gillespie