By Stafford MSD COMMUNICATIONS
The Stafford High boys basketball team hopes to build upon its non-district success when it opens district competition at Brookshire Royal on Jan. 13.
“We plan on being very competitive in our district,” Stafford head boys basketball coach Torrence Botts said. “We have a goal of winning the district, but we also know we have some good teams that will test us.”
Stafford won the Spartan Tournament recently, defeating three Houston ISD teams and Bellaire Episcopal.
Stafford finished 23-13 and was ranked 16th in the Class 4A Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) poll last season. The Spartans have reached the playoffs in each of Botts’ six seasons as head coach.
Last season, the Spartans lost a first-round playoff heartbreaker, 44-40, to Wharton – three months after defeating the Tigers, 58-57. They were picked by Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball Magazine to win Districts 25-4A and 26-4A, respectively.
Stafford will have eight seniors on this year’s team, including six returning lettermen. Their returning seniors are Chris Brantley, Miles Brazle, ZaQuan Brooks, Desmond Mathis, Damani Jerrols, King Nwozuro, Anthony Rivers and Christian Thomas.
Brooks was the District Defensive Co-MVP, Brazle was First-Team All-District last season, and the point guard, Mathis, was a standout wide receiver for the football team.
“I think we have good team chemistry and our experience is another strength of ours,” said Botts, who played Division I basketball and football at the University of Houston.
Botts said the Spartans have several points to focus on during the non-district schedule, as they prepare to win a district title.
For Botts, this time of year usually means a balancing act between his role as the head basketball coach and an assistant football coach. Botts was the wide receivers coach for the football team, which reached the regional finals on Dec. 2.
“I have been coaching football and basketball for nine years here at Stafford,” Botts said.
“The athletic director and I work well together to create a schedule to where I can practice both sports in the same day so that makes it a lot easier on me.”