Focus on Sports
Mappas expects 'Jacks to improve over time

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

WYE MILLS – John Mappas believes hard work eventually leads to success. Once his Skipjacks embrace that concept, he expects them to be a much better team.

"It´s going to be a while before we´re the team I expect us to be," said Mappas, who began his second tour of duty as Chesapeake College´s men´s basketball coach Tuesday night at Harford Community College. "We´ve got a lot of work to do, and our work ethic needs to improve for us to reach our potential."

The Skipjacks will certainly have their work cut out for them, thanks to a killer schedule that includes eight straight road games to open the season. Chesapeake´s home opener isn´t until December 9th, when perennial region title contender CCBC-Catonsville visits.

Mappas said guard/forward Hubert King (Caroline High/Ruther Glen, Va.) and guard Jimmy Mosser (Page High/Stanley, Va.) – Chesapeake´s only two sophomores – will have to shoulder a lot of responsibility until the freshmen become accustomed to the college game.

"Hubert will usually take the other team´s best inside player on defense," said Mappas, who was 73-43 as Chesapeake´s head coach between 2000 and 2004. "Hubert and Jimmy are two of the hardest workers on our team. The freshmen can learn a lot from them."

Freshmen Preston Faulk (McDonough High/Waldorf) and Marcus Felton (Easton High) will share the point guard position for the Skipjacks.

"They´ve done a decent job of running the team for freshmen," said Mappas, whose team was competitive in preseason losses to Anne Arundel Community College and CCBC-Essex.

Mosser and four freshmen – Kentrell Ricketts (Easton High), Terrance Wright (Poly Tech/Dover, Del.), Davon Heath (Dover High/Dover, Del.), and Petros Fentahun (Blair High/Takoma Park) – will all be competing for playing time at the off guard spot.

"We´ve got nothing but guards," said Mappas in something of an understatement, sporting a team with no player taller than 6-foot-3.

North Dorchester High grad Felix Weeks and J.M. Bennett product Brooks Cottman, who are each 6-3 and 225 pounds, will play both power forward and center while 6-3 Burton Moody (Plant High/Waldorf) will also see time at forward.

Lacking height but possessing some speed, Mappas hopes to whip the Skipjacks into shape defensively to keep his squad competitive in the rugged Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference.

"We shoot the ball fairly well, but we´ve got to cut down on turnovers and do a better job defensively inside," said Mappas, who indicated he will play mostly man-to-man defense but "will extend the defense at times."

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