Adair’s basketball coaches have nothing but great things to say about their eighth grade teams.
Coach Travis Cannady and Chell Looney have seen the boy’s team evolve from their sixth grade beginnings.
Coach Cannady says their key to success is simple; they make a great team.
“They’ve been together since sixth grade, they gel together really well. They’ve got the qualities of a good team, because they like each other,” said Cannady.
“They’ve been undefeated all three years. They are used to winning,” said Cannady.
“I’ve been doing this for 16 years and I’ve never had a team that goes all through junior high undefeated, “ said Cannady. “I’m proud of these guys.”
He remembers a game from this season, where they went into overtime against Kansas.
“This was the game they realized that being undefeated doesn’t mean you can walk out onto a court and expect to win. They realized the hard work it takes,” said Cannady.
Cannady describes a team willing to work hard, that understands the importance of both defense and offense.
“They’ve got all the components of a good team. There is never a ‘me’ guy,” said Cannady.
Coach Looney says he is continually impressed by their ability to play as a team.
“Nobody is selfish. There could be a different lead scorer every night and nobody would get mad,” said Looney.
Another key to their success, Looney says, is intensity.
“Their effort is key. They don’t take nights off, even when they are playing easier teams. They play with the same intensity every night, no matter what.”
Looney said the Warriors are better than other teams, because they play harder than other teams.
Both coaches say the boys are encouraged to play all sports, which makes them well-rounded and contributes to their sense of unity.
Now, the team and coaches are looking toward high school games.
“It’s hard to predict what kind of players they’ll turn out to be. If they stay competitive, they have good chances,” said Cannady.
Looney said there will be an adjustment period, but if the players continue on the same path, the high school team is looking good.
“Congratulations guys, you deserve it. Continue to work hard,” said Looney.
One three-year undefeated eighth grade team is good - but Adair has two.
The eighthgrade Lady Warriors just wrapped up their season with a three year undefeated record, 56-0.
“They are really good athletes,” said Coach Winfield, who is proud of his team’s success.
He credits part of the team’s success to a pressure-style defense.
“Our defense really bothers other teams,” said Winfield.
“They’ve been great since they were little, and they just keep getting better,” he said.