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SouthArk ready for scrimmages

by Jason Avery | October 19, 2021 at 9:30 p.m.

When South Arkansas Community College takes the floor for their Maroon vs. White scrimmages on Friday, it will be much more than just the Stars taking part in two exhibitions.

It will mark the first time fans will be able to see the teams up close in their renovated gym after the coronavirus pandemic kept fans away from seeing the Stars last year.

The women will get underway at 5 p.m. with the men’s scrimmage to follow at 7 p.m.

Admission is $5 at the gate only.

In accordance with college policies, masks are required to be worn.

“The main thing we are looking for in the games Friday is for our players to go out, enjoy themselves, and have fun,” South Arkansas Community College coach Nate Davis said.

“This will be the first time in a while that a lot of these players have played with a full capacity crowd in attendance due to the pandemic. We are all excited to get out there with the bright lights on.

“We plan to use these games as an opportunity to show the community the product we will have on the court this season.”

This upcoming season for the men’s program will be their third under Davis, and he singled out a couple of players for their work in fall practices.

“We’ve had a great offseason of improvement,” Davis said. “Zeb Trantham has put in a lot of work over the offseason and looks poised to get this season started.

“He is able to not only shoot the three-ball, but defend the floor from the one to three is huge for us.

“Xavier Hall is also one that has been a standout in the offseason for us. Xavier is an elite athlete who can jump out of the gym and guard one through five on the defensive side.

“Having experience at the Division II level (Ouachita Baptist University) will really help this team.”

A veteran and freshman have shined during practices on the women’s squad.

“Christian Marshall (returner) has really impressed me,” Davis said.

“She has been able to not only finish at the rim but develop an outside shot as well. She has taken a leadership role and done very well with it.

“Lexi Pyle is another standout for our women’s team. An incoming freshman who played her high school ball at Emerson High School, she brings in a wide variety skillset.

“She can knock down shots, handle the ball and get her teammates involved on offense.”

Davis added that while he has been pleased with their practices, there is plenty of work ahead for both teams.

“Practices for both our men’s and women’s program have gone very well over the past few months,” Davis said. “We still have some things to work on, but that can be taken care of over time. We have done a lot of conditioning and skill-related work since the fall semester began.

“We began harping on our X’s and O’s at the beginning of the month and we are looking to adjust things on the offense and defensive.

“Having Nate Evans (former player) as my assistant coach has been a huge blessing for our program.

“All players, including incoming freshmen, have stepped up to the plate this offseason and put in a lot of work. I am excited to see what our future holds this season.”

With the men’s and women’s seasons just a few weeks away from starting, Davis is looking forward to Friday’s scrimmages.

“We’re expecting both games to be competitive,” Davis said. “We’ve put a big emphasis on going out there and having fun while staying disciplined. It’s going to be great to finally have our fans in the stands.

“Even though Friday night will be fun, we are treating this as a time to execute our sets and plays rather than just putting on a show for the stands.

“We look for both games to be entertaining, and we expect for our players to give the people a reason to attend games this season.”

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