After nine seasons at Ridge Community, Don Skipper has moved over to Lake Region. Anthony Jones, a longtime Haines City assistant will take over as the Bolts head coach. Skipper posted a 10-11 record for the Bolts last season while competing in Class 8A, District 7, though the team finished 2-7 and last in the district standings.
“It was time to do something new and I started looking at different opportunities that would present a different challenge,” Skipper said. “Lake Region presented that opportunity and we will try to make the best of it.”
Now Skipper is faced with the challenge of taking over a Lake Region team that was winless last season, going 0-19 overall and 0-7 in Class 6A, District 6.
WHAT’S OLD: After a winless season, hopefully nothing except for some veteran players who will supply leadership while Skipper implements his changes and his style of uptempo play.
“It is still Thunder basketball,” Skipper said. “We have some guys who are going to be seniors and who have taken those drives and taken those bumps. We have to have that leadership, on and off the floor, from them. We have to make sure that we continue to get after it in the classroom.”
WHAT’S NEW: The Thunder will look to create opportunities by creating havoc and turnovers on the defensive end of the floor. Look for the team to run and push the ball up the floor and score many of its points in the transition game.
“We will play a different style and different tempo. I like to get after it defensively.” Skipper said. “I like to make things happen on the defensive end. Whether man-to-man or zone, I just want to keep constant pressure.
“Lake Region has been young the last couple of years, so hopefully we can get over the hump and build off of it. I feel like we have a decent group of kids coming back. Hopefully, we can get a stud or two that moves into the area.”
KEY RETURNERS AND NEWCOMERS: Rising junior and returning captain Jason Tisdale returns at point guard. Skipper is hoping the 5-foot-7 playmaker’s experience helps to create a stable offense with several new players expected to enter the program.
“Tisdale is a good guard,” Skipper said. “Sheldon Jennings will come in and play one of the guards. He is not with us right now but he will be in the future. He is a good ballplayer.”
SUMMER LEAGUE GOALS: “The goals are to get better and jell. We need to get everybody to come together and be ready for the fall,” Skipper said.