Packers have holes to fill

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2007

SMITHFIELD—Last year, in his first year at Smithfield High School, head coach Steve Artis and the Packers made the Bay Rivers playoffs where they came up two points short to Region I runner-up Bruton 53-51. The Packers just missed finishing with a winning season, losing five games by three points or less.

“We started to come together in the middle of the season,” said Artis whose team won four of six games to end the regular season. “We got stronger, and started to play better as a team.”

The Packer must replace their two leading scorers for this season.

Artis has high praise for his point guard Roderick Bowser (6-1), who led the team in assists. Bowser causes matchup problems with his size (linebacker on the football team), and he can play a lot of positions.

Joining Browser in the backcourt is Jason Cabrera, a 5-11 junior who will be asked to hit the open jumper.

Another football player, Cornell “C.J” Jones, brings athleticism and an aggressive mindset to the 3-position.

Expect sophomore Deonta Fountain (6-2) to step up and play a leading role in the offense. Fountain is a long and active defender, with the speed to get out on the fast-break for easy baskets.

Virginia Tech football recruit Dyrell Roberts will stay in shape before he becomes a Hokie by playing basketball his senior year, after sitting out the last two years to concentrate on football.

“Dyrell has shown some positive points,” Artis said. “Everything

is new to him, but he brings a great work ethic. Playing football should

help with leadership.”

The Packers play their first two games on the road before returning home to

face Bruton on December 12th.