Reigning state champs start process over again with some new pieces

Expectations are high for the Bowie High School boys’ basketball program for the upcoming season after a state title win and a number one ranking in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches preseason poll for the second year in a row.
It’s not just outsiders who have high expectations of the team as Head Coach Jonathon Horton and the players have set their own and that doesn’t necessarily mean another title.
“Expectations are high, of course, with the talent we have and the results we have had, not just last season, but as a program,” said Horton. “There aren’t many boys’ basketball programs that have won more big games than Bowie overall, so expectations are high here and the boys have seen it. That makes their own expectations high, mine high and the community’s high.”
As the team began practice last week, they are working to define what success will mean for the Bowie Jackrabbits in 2018-19.
Horton believes players getting the most out of each for each other will be more key than any title success.
“I wouldn’t define it as winning state or going to the regional tournament or even winning a district title because there are so many unknowns out there,” said Horton. “We are trying every day to get the most we possibly can out of each other and I believe 10 years from now if we are successful it will be because of that.”
The Bowie Jackrabbits return Class 3A State Most Valuable Player Daniel Mosley and second leading scorer and starter Justin Franklin. Also returning is Taylor Pigg, while not a starter last season, saw plenty of playing time and was a key piece in the Jackrabbits’ success.
“Those are the three we are going to build on,” explained Horton. “It’s not going to look the same. Our team last year was great, but this team will never look the same. Even though we have some of the same players.,” explained Horton.
As an example, last year’s team even though they returned most of the same team, looked and played completely different than the previous year.
The coach said he also has many junior varsity kids stepping right in and fulfilling expectations and learning from the varsity players, as well as new Assistant Coach Josh Castle’s son, Jeb. Coach Matthew Miller also returns from last year as assistant.
Also new to the team this year is Horton in the position of head coach after serving as assistant for Doug Boxell.
“Things have changed, I have changed, the coaches change, even the players that are the same, their roles are different and kids that were not leaders last year are leaders now,” said Horton. “You are infusing new talent and new pieces.
As Horton said, its not like college or pro teams who can go out and find skill sets they want or need in other players. I high school, coaches and team have to adapt.
The team will work hard to develop their skill sets and develop depth in a schedule that is guaranteed to challenge the Jackrabbits in the pre-district slate.
“I think if we can work hard enough to develop depth I think that will be the biggest key to this season,” said Horton. “If we can use our scrimmages in our early games and our difficult non-district schedule and have eight to nine people deep in a rotation. I think that’s the big key.”
The team opens with scrimmages against Aubrey and Graham this Saturday and another scrimmage is slated against Wichita Falls High School on Nov. 6.

To read the full story and for a copy of the season schedule, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.