The junior varsity boys have clinched at least a share of the conference title. With a win Friday night, they’ll remove all doubt about who the best team in the conference really is.
Ashe County sits at 17-5 overall and 13-2 in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference under first-year head coach Daniel Waln. Waln coached the freshman team last year before taking over as the JV head coach, following former coach Scott Grubb’s promotion to head varsity coach.
This year’s squad has worked tirelessly in practice and has continued to improve as the season went along.
“We compete and play as hard, fast, and tough as we can while preaching a family atmosphere on the team,” said Coach Waln.
The coaching staff knows how important it is for the team to believe in each other and believe in working hard, something that Ashe has done extremely well all year long.
“The kids deserve all the credit. Coach Colvard, Coach Wilson and myself were blessed to have a group of kids that love the game and love each other, but still want to compete every time they step on the court,” said Coach Waln. “The kids know the tradition of the Ashe County basketball program and how many successful teams have worn the white and purple.”
Of course basketball success means quite a bit to the team, but it’s also the things off the court that matters even more. Coach Waln emphasizes the importance of hard work in the classroom that will prepare each and every member of the team for life outside of basketball.
When asked about the top moment of the season, Waln pointed to a game earlier in the year, a non-conference battle at Avery that saw his squad come back from trailing most of the game to squeak out a victory at the end.
“We drew up a play for Stanton Moore and he delivered. It was a big momentum boost for us because a lot of the kids have never been in that situation before and for us to have the grit and the heart to come back and win the game really showed us that we can win against anyone,” said Waln. “Our staff drew up a play we thought would work and they executed it perfectly. It was a big win leading up to the conference schedule.”
The season ends on Friday with a game at home against West Wilkes. A win will mean Ashe wins the conference outright. A loss could mean that Ashe will share the championship with Wilkes Central and Starmount, based on how they do in games this week.