The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Atoms strive for gold despite challenges

Shannon Blevins
Dec. 6, Junior Noah Lenn sets up for shot in a regular season game against Centerville High School

The boys basketball team has struggled to find their footing as they start the season off with a 1-3 record. The Atoms lost a recent game to Centreville 61-49 despite strong play from senior Jr Nelson who had 16 points and several significant plays on both sides of the court to keep the Atoms within reach of the Wildcats throughout the game. Nelson says, “It felt good to score against a tough team like Centreville. Definitely need to keep producing for the team to win.”


Last year the team graduated 7 seniors, so the team is relatively young. Many players competed together in a fall league which, according to senior Jeff Pewett, has provided a great opportunity for the team to get additional playing time together, figure out their role, and gel as a group. “Fall league showed us a glimpse of what we would see during the regular season. We played a lot of good competition and it got us prepared by building chemistry and winning games as a team.” 


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Coach Jerome McAvoy (aka: Coach Mac) is in his 2nd year at the helm.  He started last year less than 3 weeks before tryouts, and didn’t have time to implement different strategies during the preseason. This year he takes a different approach as he has had lots of time to figure out where players belong. Coach Mac says, “I got to see what I thought would be the best way to play for our guys to win. They responded well to anything that came their way. We put in a lot of work and I know we are going to make the school proud this year with a lot of victories.”


The team values Coach Mac and his style of coaching and approach to the game. Junior Natnael Aklilu said, “The coaching style in coach Mac focuses on fostering a positive and supportive environment for the players. He prioritizes effective communication, teamwork, and individual skill development. By emphasizing these aspects, the team can build strong chemistry and work together towards a common goal.”


The Atoms sole win came from an exciting win over Osbourne in their home opener with standout performances from Jr Nelson and Esaw Ghiorghis. Nelson scored an astonishing 21 points to lead the atoms to victory. Esaw had many key plays on the defensive side of the game with many steals. The junior said, “I think my confidence as a defender made me successful in the game because being confident is crucial in basketball. It helps players believe in themselves and their abilities. It allows them to take risks, make quick decisions, and perform at their best under pressure.”


The Atoms hope to gain some momentum as they head into winter break. Coach Mac says, “We raised a lot of money with our camp over the summer so we’re going down to Myrtle Beach for a Christmas tournament.” The Atoms will play 3 games in 3 days from December 20-22 against some tough competition before coming back home to begin their second half of the season.


The Atoms aim high for this season with one common goal. “Our goal is to win the district but at the end of the day we know we can’t get there unless we get better and better each day, whether it’s with ball control, defense…” said Coach Mac. Although the atoms have high expectations, there may be some challenges along the way. Jeff Pewett said, “I think the biggest challenge we will face is trying to stay calm through adversity. Every team goes through challenges, I’m hoping that when ours come, we can stay strong as a team and find a way to win.”


They look to rebound on 12/11 against Falls Church and turn their season around.


The Atoms JV squad falls in their first game of the season against Centerville but hope to bounce back as they take on Falls Church as well. Sophomore Caden Tran-Trong has a positive feeling for the remainder of the season. “I think we have a strong and passionate group of guys on our team. We have the ability to accomplish some big things if we always put our best foot forward.”

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About the Contributor
Andrew McGee, Staff Writer
Sophomore Andrew McGee is in his first year on the A-Blast as a staff writer. He plays baseball and swims for Annandale. He's also member of the Math Honor Society. Outside of school he enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and exercising.

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