Tight knit senior class leads Bearden boys basketball team

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Ed Dudrick

Jack Graham (middle) tries to break the press during practice this week. Graham joins Isaiah Campbell and Noah Gettelfinger as experienced seniors on this year's team.

The start of basketball season is officially here, and Bearden is optimistic about the upcoming year, in large part because of the experienced senior class.

Isaiah Campbell, Jack Graham, and Noah Gettelfinger – who are long time members of the team – make up the senior core, and they are joined this year by newcomers Taylor Sosna and Jarrell Stephany.

“The senior leadership on the team helps a lot,” team captain Campbell said. “With only three returning seniors, it’s up to us to make sure that everyone knows what to do.”

This is a task that these three are suited for: they have gained experienced over the years together and know just how to lead a team based off those experiences. Chemistry is another perk that these seniors bring to the table.

“We have two new senior players who are absolutely part of that bond, but Noah, Isaiah, and I have been playing together since elementary school and have played at Bearden together for all four years,” Graham said. “The team as a whole is a tightly-knit group, and that is reflected in our play.”

Sosna and Stephany, the two seniors that joined the team over the offseason, have proven themselves already and have impressed coaches and players alike. They have wasted no time in becoming a part of the senior link and have become leaders themselves.

“Taylor and Jarell bring their own special playing styles and have proved themselves worthy to play for us this year,” Coach Mark Blevins said. “The other guys have adjusted to their game nicely so that the team can be as efficient as possible.”

The team is expecting a strong outcome of the season and is excited about what they can accomplish.

“People will underestimate us, but we will shock a lot of teams,” Campbell said. “If we get up and down the floor and play hard defense, I think we have a chance to do better than last year’s team.”

The Bulldogs are preparing for their first game of the season against Oak Ridge on Nov. 12. Their first home game is Dec. 10, a district matchup with William Blount.