Last season, the Crisfield boys basketball team made an incredible transition from a 9-13 finish in the 2012-13 season to a 17-8 record and a trip to the state semifinals. After losing five seniors and announcing a new head coach a few weeks ago, the Crabbers look at another transition heading into the 2014-15 campaign.
“It is major losing that type of production from those guys,” new head coach Marshall Todman said about the loss of the five seniors. “Right now, we have three returners in Jawayne Taylor, Joey Bradshaw and Stanley Brown. Those are going to be the core to help us get to the level that we had.”
Todman, originally the coach for the junior varsity team for the past four seasons, made the adjustment to varsity in November knowing he was short-handed on the squad with the loss of a big senior class.
“We had to bring three or four guys up that would have played JV this year,” Todman said. “With the loss of all those guys, it really impacted us, but we are going to try and blend those younger guys in and move on.”
This is new territory for Todman, but not too much of an adjustment, as he coached all the players on the current team in the past on junior varsity. It actually makes the transition much simpler for the players knowing the system that Todman runs.
“Every year with him, he has had a good season with JV,” returning center Brown said about Todman. “The chemistry is still there since we have all played for him in the past. He shows us what we need to work on, and we listen.”
“Coach Todman saw what was wrong last year and he is going to fix it this year,” senior captain Taylor said about the new coach taking over the program. “It is going to be even more positive this year to get back to where we want to be.”
The returners feel very comfortable with the transition into Todman as head coach, but the question falls on how the younger guys who haven’t been a part of the big game adjust. The good news is the Crabbers open the season with three home games in front of their own fans.
“A lot of times when you take younger guys on the road, they are a little bit timid,” Todman said. “Being at home, it makes the younger guys feel more at ease.”
“You got the crowd behind you,” Brown said. “It is a bit of an adjustment from JV to varsity, because you are on the main stage now. Everyone is there to see you. You can’t let it bring you down; you just have to keep your head up.”