TWO ACCOMPLISHMENTS down, several more to go? That's the hope of star guard Tyrone Garland, of John Bartram High.
Already the speedy trickster has surpassed 1,000 career points and made an oral commitment to a Division 1 college (Virginia Tech). Now he hopes to lead the Braves to a Public League championship and, oh, a City Title and/or state crown wouldn't be bad, either.
One issue: At some point, coach James Brown might find himself asking the referees, "Can we use more than one ball?"
That's because players 2 and 3 in the pecking order, Quasim Jones and Zaahir Allen, are also fill-it-up guards.
If the Braves can play unselfishly and receive enough boards from footballers Darrell Lane and Devin Moore, they'll be golden.
But they'll hardly go unchallenged.
In AAAA, Frankford's deep, tight-knit cast, headed by point guard Dehaven Brown, has been enhanced by the arrival of Niagara-bound center Shaquille Duncan. Southern would have deserved upper-echelon consideration, but the two best players recently transferred. The Rams still will be a tough opponent, while Olney and Central could also make noise.
The AAA landscape appears to be mostly barren, save for Simon Gratz (guard Tyree Smith, inside bully Antoine "Ness" Bland).
In recent years, AA has offered quality ball with multiple contenders. That won't change.
State champ Imhotep Charter returns just one starter, 6-8 junior Erik Copes (committed to George Washington), but two goodies - guard Ameen Tanksley and forward Earl Brown - have arrived via transfer. Strawberry Mansion (Devonte' "DJ" Newbill), Communications Tech (Shaquille Shannon) and Delaware Valley Charter (Rysheen Dorn) are led by star guards while Prep Charter regroups and hopes (and concerns opponents).
In A, though graduation hit hard at Math, Civics and Sciences, a quick reloading has found help for the lone returning starter, forward Andre Thomas. Boys' Latin, though still without a senior class, will push hard thanks to sophomore guard Maurice Watson Jr., son of the coach and on target to surpass 1,000 career points this season, and don't be surprised if new member Constitution (6-8 Erik Raleigh, several quality transfers) imposes its will.
The league has expanded by just two schools; the other newbie is Elverson.
New coaches: Rob Moore, Constitution; Eldred "Jay" Bagley, Elverson; Mark Heimerdinger, Fels; Matt Wahl, Germantown; Bob DiFlorio, Northeast; Leonard Poole, Franklin Learning Center; Duane Ramer, Gratz; Omar Richburg, Mastery Charter South; James Ockimey, William Penn; Antoine Brockington, Del-Val; Steve Kikendall, Esperanza (switching from William Bodine); John Brown, Freire Charter; Steven Kennedy, William Sayre; and Lynn Greer Sr., Bodine.
Heimerdinger (Dougherty) and DiFlorio (Neumann, Conwell-Egan) coached for long stretches in the Catholic League. Poole produced two title squads at Gratz. Greer's son, Lynn, starred at Engineering and Science and Temple and now plays overseas after an NBA stint.
Divisions C and D began play last Friday. A and B start Monday. *