Wanting number four

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

The R.C. Hatch Bobcats became the first team in the state of Alabama to win three consecutive 2A state titles in men’s basketball last season.

Nine other teams slept through opportunity’s knock. R.C. Hatch blew the door to pieces.

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Despite the accomplishment, head coach Homer Davis remains unsatisfied.

Like Pat Riley telling his Lakers they would win the championship the next season &045; the same night they did win it &045; Davis wants a four-peat.

Championships are tough to come by. On paper, R.C. Hatch lost too much talent to defend its crown. The team lost five seniors, three of which play at the next level. Frankie Robinson is at Auburn, Rodney Scott is at Alabama A&M, and Nicholas Johnson is at Pearl River (Miss.) Community College.

Thankfully for R.C. Hatch, the hardwood is not paper.

The 2006 team graduated seven seniors. The 2007 team defended its state title, but graduated four seniors. The 2008 team finished the three-peat, but lost five to graduation.

A pattern is evident.

Ten players return for the 2008-09 campaign. Like their predecessors, expectations demand they win the state title.

The Bobcats’ success is a mixed blessing for the players. They take pride in their history and heritage, and fan support is unlikely to become an issue. Compared to the pressure success generates, the pluses are David and the minus is Goliath.

But the newest Bobcat faces are preparing for the new season. They gained experience in recent camps held at the University of Alabama and Auburn University.

The Bobcats performed well, but exposed their weaknesses. The team is using July to correct those weaknesses and strengthen individual skills.

While the players work individually, Davis spends time with his grandchildren. Even on a break, he stresses basketball fundamentals to them.

He’s preparing for a 19-peat.