GOLCONDA POPE COUNTY
BY JACK BULLOCK
The Pope County Pirates had a few bright spots last season during a 9-17 campaign (1-6 GEC) including a nice win over Joppa at the Dongola Christmas Tournament.

For Coach Jim Simmons, his club this year will have some kids who are a year older and more experienced than this time last season.

The Pirates lost just two seniors from a team that lost to GEC rival Carrier Mills 49-30 at the Hardin County 1A Regional.

One of them will be tough to replace as 6-foot-7 Jake Floyd is gone from that team a year ago. The other senior will also be missed; 6-foot-1 Nic Campbell.

However the ones coming back have a feel of what this coach expects and they should show improvement in 2017-18.

Coach Simmons mentioned in no particular order Matthew Davis, who is a 5-foot-8 junior guard.

Also 5-foot-11 junior guard Sabastion Fasolo, 5-foot-11 Jacob Rison, and 5-foot-8 sophomore Jackson Eddington as backcourt players for the Pirates.

Conner Hobbs, a 5-foot-5 sophomore, is also part of what looks to be a deep backcourt for Pope County.

Up front look for Nick Walker, a 6-foot-1 senior forward, 6-foot-5 senior Josh Floyd, 6-foot-2 senior Cale Blankenship and 6-foot-1 Logan Wilson to all see action.

“Our guards are a year older, so our hope this is that with an inside game we can win some additional games this season,” said Coach Simmons.

OUTLOOK – The Pirates have something that they haven't had much of recently; some experience returning at all positions. The young guards will be a key element to the success of this team this season. The frontcourt players will also need to step up.

2017-18 VARSITY SCHEDULE
N20-25 Crab Orchard Turkey Tournament J9 @ Norris City-Omaha-Enfield
N28 Thompsonville
J12 Elizabethtown Hardin County
D1 Marion Crab Orchard J16 @ Carrier Mills-Stonefort
D5 Galatia J19 @ Galatia
D8 @ Junction Gallatin County J22-27 GEC Tournament @ SIC
D12 @ Vienna J30 @ Elizabethtown Hardin County
D15 Carrier Mills-Stonefort F6 Joppa-Maple Grove
D19 Wolf Lake Shawnee F8 Dongola
D28-29 Dongola Christmas Tournament F12 Tamms Egyptian
J6 Junction Gallatin County F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD