Danville tries to build on small victories during off week
Published 7:22 am Tuesday, September 26, 2023
By MIKE MARSEE
There are no wins on Danville’s ledger yet, but there have been a few victories.
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Young players with little or no game experience prior to this season are beginning to get a better grasp on the game, and coach Frank Parks Jr. said the Admirals have made strides in games and in practices in recent weeks.
Parks and his staff were working to build on the Admirals’ small successes during their bye week as they prepared for the second half of the regular season.
“You see some growth, and that’s what you ask for,” Parks said. “You’d like for the results to be better, but on film you see progress being made.”
It’s a shock to see Danville at 0-5, but this is surely one of the youngest, most inexperienced teams in school history.
The Admirals took their lumps in the first half of the season, but Parks was encouraged by things he saw in their most recent game, a 50-40 loss at Knox Central on Sept. 15.
“Last week you could see that we had a little breakthrough,” Parks said. “I really saw that step forward and that growth that we’ve been trying to build.”
Parks said he saw improvement in a number of areas, but perhaps the most significant was a greater inclination by the players to work together.
“They just fought for 48 minutes. They finally played for each other,” he said. “When everyone’s all in and working together and playing for each other you can do some special things, and I think last week they finally figured that out and they saw some of the benefits of playing together.”
He said his young players still have a long way to go, however.
“We’re so close but so far away still,” Parks said. “You take a kid who was in middle school last year and now he’s a varsity starter, there’s a lot of X’s and O’s that have got to be learned and some skills that have to be learned.”
However, he said during the bye week he also saw a continued willingness to work.
“We came out and improved and understood what we needed to work on, and the players have done a great job of focusing and understanding,” he said.
Danville returns to action Thursday with a home game against Campbellsville (6-0), which was ranked No. 3 in Class 1A in last week’s statewide media poll.
It’s a tough assignment, but Parks said the second half of the schedule is more favorable than the first, which included consecutive lopsided losses to Pulaski, Boyle and Mercer counties, all much larger schools.
“It wasn’t a schedule that allowed them to grow and build confidence,” he said. “It was a tough schedule for guys who haven’t played, but they understood what we were facing and they just kept chipping away.
“Now you get back to some teams that are similar, or now we may have the speed advantage against some teams.”