CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Horace Greeley High School boys basketball coach Dave Fernandes enters his 20th season as coach of the Quakers with a deep, experienced team.
Greeley has seven seniors and three juniors on the roster this season and 15 total players. Fernandes will typically rotate in about 10 players per game. But even with such a deep roster, the longtime coach said the Quakers have plenty of work to do this season.
“We’re looking forward to seeing us play together,” Fernandes said. “If we play more as a team instead of individuals, we’ll do well. It’s going to take a little while to get there.”
Greeley’s schedule delayed some of the growth Fernandes hopes to see. Greeley should have played three games before Monday’s matchup with Ossining, but two of the games were canceled. When the Quakers did step on the court, they suffered a 70-51 loss to Mahopac.
“To only play one game when some of these guys played five, it’s tough,” Fernandes said. On Monday, they lost 78-63 to Ossining.
The Quakers return a pair of 6-foot-4-inch seniors in Harrison Brown and Matt Xie. Height should certainly be an advantage for Greeley this season, as nine players stand at 6 feet or taller. Both Brown and Teddy Graves have been with Fernandes for four years.
The 2012-13 season could serve as the culmination of a nearly decade-long journey for some of the players.
“I’ve been playing with Teddy Graves and Matt Xie for almost eight years now,” Brown said. “It’d be great to go all the way to the County Center, play Mount Vernon. That’s the goal. Doesn’t matter if we win or lose. Just get there. That’s it.”
Fernandes purposely compiled a tough schedule to prepare his team for a postseason run this year. Greeley has Peekskill, Mahopac, Ossining and Newburgh on its schedule, and none of those teams is in the Quakers’ league. Greeley will also face Fox Lane and Byram Hills twice this season.
But Fernandes said all that is in an effort to test his team’s mettle and get his players to where he believes they can go.
“We wanted to be right in the mix ... we figured if we could stay in the mix with everybody and get better,” Fernandes said. “All of that is like a plan to see as we get better as the season goes.”