No excuses: PA’s basketball teams plan to dominate the region in the upcoming season


Courtesy of @pacavswbb

Alissa Savostyanova

The Princess Anne Varsity Boys Basketball team starts the season off strong with a 56-51 win against the Falcons of Cox High School. The team fought rigorously under the coaching of Corey Coffer and the leadership of senior captains, who also happen to be brothers, William Bland and Samuel Bland. The Cavaliers finished their season last year second in the beach region and are planning to come back stronger than ever.

Senior captain of the team, William Bland, is excited to work with a new team this year and lead them to success. Bland mentioned how the team sets goals for the upcoming season, “It’s hard to set some team goals because it’s, at times, almost taboo to talk about it. We want to maximize our growth while being the team with the most chemistry in our region, as well as also being one of the better defensive teams.” Bland added that the team doesn’t just focus on one specific goal such as growing together as a whole and winning states. 

The Cavaliers believe that their friendship and close relationships with each other will guide them closer to their goal of reaching the state championships and winning the state champs title. “We have great chemistry. We truly love each other. We’re willing to sacrifice certain things to support one another. I think that is what sets  us apart from a lot of other teams.” William Bland adds. Samuel Bland further mentioned that one of the team’s biggest strengths is that they are very connected to each other and are a very close team. 

Being a fairly young team, two of the team’s freshmen, Styles Clemmons and Tyshaun Neal are thought to be the future of the Cavaliers for the upcoming seasons. Clemmons, player number zero for the Cavs is a valuable player on the team. Clemmons’ goal for his first high school season is to win state championships. The young player hopes to commit to Duke by his senior year. Clemmons stated, “I want to make it far. I want to win.” 

 As student-athletes, the Cavaliers use the skills they learn on the court in everyday life as well. William Bland mentioned, “I try not to worry about trying to control what I can’t control, but also to allow my support system to be able to operate effectively. Just controlling my emotions.” Neal added, “I use decision-making skills as well as choosing wisely.” 

Both of Princess Anne’s own Cavalier Basketball teams had successful wins on Nov. 28 against Cox. The girls’ team recorded an amazing win, finishing with an astounding score of 86-10. The game was led by Tinasia Spencer, Jizelle James, Zakiya Stephenson, and Wynta Brumage scoring double figures for PA. The matchup was an exciting start to the season for the Lady Cavs who are eager to take on the rest of the region. As of December 15, the Lady Cavs are 5-0.

Princess Anne’s Lady Cavs went undefeated last season and finished first in the beach region. Leading into next season, their expectations are set very high, all the way to winning states. Senior Zakiya Stephenson adds, “Last year nobody thought we were going to be able to go to regionals and win, but we overcame what people said about us. We made it all the way to states and even though we lost that game, we’re just going to come back stronger this year.” The Lady Cavaliers are looking forward to being able to compete to bring the state title home for PA. 

Basketball affects not only the players’ minds on the court, but off of the court as well. The Cavaliers take the lessons they learn from mistakes and from their teammates into everyday school, social, and emotional life. Junior captain, Celeste Bailey, stated that she has learned many skills from basketball. “I learned teamwork skills. I feel like basketball in general helps with having to work in a regular workplace and just being able to communicate with the people around you.” Junior Tinasia Spencer also adds, “I’ve learned confidence and how to lead on and off the court. I’ve also learned respect and dedication.” 

Freshman Jizelle James is excited for her first varsity season with PA’s basketball team. James is a starter as well as a great asset to the team. James said that having the opportunity to play and train with upperclassmen helps her improve and push herself. “I just feed off of their energy because I like playing with upperclassmen.” She also adds, “One of my roles on the team is to follow what the upperclassmen do so I can play like them when my time comes.”

Princess Anne’s Indoor Track Coach and Student Activities Coordinator, Jauron Brumage is fully confident that the Cavaliers have the full potential to make it to the state championships. Brumage mentioned in an interview, “For both teams, practices are very structured, organized, and very competitive. They are competing and pushing each other constantly so when they get to the game, it’s second nature. That work ethic in practice is going to lead to success.” Brumage also discusses the relationship between education and athletics explaining that “It is called student-athlete for a reason. Students come first.” Brumage shared that succeeding in the academic environment helps the athletes foster the idea of work ethic and expectation. 

Lastly, the teams are both under the coaching of Darnell Dozier and Corey Coffer. Samuel Bland mentions a piece of advice that Coach Coffer shared with the team. “He always tells us not to use excuses as a reason not to succeed. When we say we’re not the biggest team, we can’t use that as an excuse to not perform at the level that we should constantly perform at.”