A 31-0, state title-winning season is a heck of a wrap-up song.
So what then could the Godby boys basketball team ever do for an encore?
“We can’t expect that, I didn’t expect it last year, and I still don’t believe it happened,” Cougars coach Andy Colville said. “At Godby, we try to get to Lakeland and give ourselves a shot to win every year. I know that’s cliché. But it will be tough, especially since Rickards is in our district now. One real good team is not going to make it.”
Rickards, which made the Class 5A state final last year, now welcomes Godby into a larger classification and a district that holds Wakulla and Suwannee.
“Last year was the first time we’d been able to win it, but the chemistry on last year’s team was amazing,” Colville said. “This year, we have talent, but we have a lot of new faces. It may take a while for the chemistry to get right.”
The Cougars first pieces to the puzzle start with 2015 All-Big Bend Co-Player of the Year Quan Jackson returning at guard, along with fellow starter DeSean Enzor at small forward. B.J. Gant could be used in a similar role off the bench as he was last year, or he could start.
“Quan is a great player,” said Colville, his star player signing on Nov. 18 with Georgia Southern. “I think they’re getting a steal. He hit big shots late in games. I think he’s as good as any player around. He’s been through it all, so the change won’t affect him much.”
Godby appeared to take a hit in the size department after graduating 6-foot-9 forward Londell King, whose All-Big Bend Defensive Player of the Year body is now at Southern, along with 6-7 Quan Patterson and 6-6 Jaylin Stewart, who is at SE Missouri State.
The Cougars will need to find a point guard to replace Jordan Gaskins, but graduated guard Shaq Jackson’s brother has moved back into the area from Orlando.
At 6-foot-9 junior Corbin Merritt will help immediately, while the Cougars also picked up two 6-7 transfers in Jeremy Myers (Leon) and Trey Clemons (Marianna).
“We lost guys who’d been with us for three, four years and they knew everything we were running,” Colville said. “We have talented guys, but we have to teach them everything, as far as plays.”
One unknown quantity could be the addition of junior varsity elements. Godby’s JV team went 24-1 last year and twin junior guards Montre and Montreal Edwards are polished and could easily start on varsity.
There are never any givens, so all Colville can do is mold the group he currently has and hope it turns out in a similar ending to last year, even if it’s not identical.
“Everybody wants to talk about repeating, but everybody is new,” Colville said. “We’re just trying to do what happened last year, more than just repeat.”