Wilson, Butler enjoying new coaching roles
Published 9:20 pm Saturday, July 11, 2015
The Brookhaven Panthers and Lady Panthers basketball teams will begin their upcoming season under new leadership.
Preston Wilson will be the new head coach for the girls’ basketball team after Freda Craft resigned in April. Wilson decided to step away from coaching the boys after six seasons to help rebuild the girls’ program.
Brookhaven’s boys’ assistant coach Jimmie Butler will take over the head coaching position for the Panthers. Butler will be joined on the sideline by Stephen Keys as the new assistant coach. Keys was the boys’ assistant coach on the Alexander’s Junior High basketball team.
Wilson and Butler are excited and ready to begin their season as both coaches just finished up their summer training camps.
The Lady Panthers competed in summer camps at Co-Lin, Parklane Academy and Southwest.
Wilson, 50, shared his thoughts on his girls’ performances during their summer workouts and his goals for the Lady Panthers basketball season.
“I saw a lot of improvement during the workouts,” said Wilson. “The girls are adjusting really well to a totally new system. These summer camps were a great opportunity for us to see what each player had to offer the program.
“Now, we can make the adjustments that will give us the best opportunity to be successful for the upcoming season,” added Wilson. “I know that we will be in a rebuilding stage, but I want us to be competitive each time we take the floor.
“Every team’s goal is to win the state championship, but we want to see improvement every time we take the floor,” said Wilson.
The Lady Panthers will have three experienced players returning – Asia Byrd, Jada Henderson and Arnancy Arnold – who will counted on to lead the team.
The Panthers also experienced several summer camp activities as they participated in the Brandon High team camp, East Central Community College team camp, LSU team camp and Co-Lin team camp.
Butler, 47, said that he was really proud of his team’s performance during their summer camp workouts.
“Our summer workouts have been great,” said Butler. “The players have adjusted really well from my transition from assistant coach to head coach. We completed our summer schedule with a 23-7 record.
“The guys played against teams from all over the state, including Louisiana,” added Butler. “We also played against several local teams around the area.”
Butler revealed his plans for Brookhaven’s basketball season.
“My plan is to continue Brookhaven’s winning tradition,” said Butler. “We will continue to play with a up-tempo style on both offense and defense.
“Our team goal is to have another successful season by winning the district championship again and play in the Class 5A State Championship.”
Butler will have four starters returning for the up coming season. The Panthers will be led by seniors Darrian Wilson, Lazorian McNulty, Marte Jones and Shon Blackwell. Juniors Danarius Gray, Tyriq Reese and Damarius Brooks will also be looked upon to make major contributions to the team’s success.