After a tough loss in the Region III Championship game last year, the FM men's basketball team has high hopes for the 2018-19 season. The Raiders will look to many key returners and newcomers to lead the team back to the Region 3 tournament.
"Practices have been going really well. Players have been doing a lot of skill work and conditioning. Sophomores have been working with the freshmen to get them up to speed on our offenses, defenses, and learning our overall system of how things run," said Coach Collar.
FM returns Chris Toussaint and Darren Demmitt who are two talented guards that made the all tournament team at regionals last year. Amadou Diakite is a returning guard who was one of the best 3 point shooters in the region last season. Jaleel Jean Jacques is the returning center who is a great shot blocker and can finish really well at the rim on offense.
Some key newcomers to the squad are Juwan Malone at the starting forward position. Juwan brings a lot of energy and leadership to the team and is a tremendous athlete. Jahmr Jordan should provide depth and leadership at the point guard position.
Coach Collar's squad has been busy practicing and most recently played Mohawk Valley Community College in a pre-season scrimmage. The Raiders strength this year should be their athleticism and veteran leadership. FM will be able to start five returners which should help at the start of the year and give the freshmen time to develop. The main focus will be on defense and getting out in transition.
"I think we have a chance to be a much improved team from last year. However, players know that a lot of things have to happen before we can figure out how good we can be. We have to put the work in everyday, guys have to pull together in one direction, each player must play their role and we have to have great leadership. The ability and talent level is there, but we must be humble and hungry for success," added Collar.
The Raiders finished 15-11 last season and contended for the Region 3 title last year at the 8th seed and hope to make it back there this season.
"Since we made it to the championship game in regionals last year as an 8 seed, our goal is to try to be a much higher seed this year and to win regionals and go to nationals, stated Collar. However, right now our main goal is to be better at the end of each practice than we were at the start of each practice."
The men's basketball team will begin their season on November 3rd at the Onondaga Community College Hoops Classic. The Raiders first home contest of the season will be Saturday, November 17th when they host Adirondack at 3:00 p.m.