Wildcats riding momentum from Elite 8 run, but hungry for more [VIDEO]
The most surprise run last year, as most would agree, was the Rabun County Wildcats’ Elite 8 run. Nearly everyone from that team, including Player of the Year frontrunner Connor McKay, are back to make an expected similiar run (or better) this season. The Wildcats are riding the wave off last year’s success.
“We got kind of lucky with the draw on that side of the bracket,” says coach David Adcock. “We had a great run. We have a team that has worked hard…we have a chance to do something special. I make sure to make a point to tell the guys, even though we made the Elite 8, we won 9 games. We’re a 9-win team until we prove otherwise. We have some very lofty goals this year.”
That kind of attitude keeps this team grounded and hungry to prove what they did last year was no fluke, and the players echo that sentiment.
“It’s given us a lot of confidence because of the run that we made last season,” says McKay, who recently signed with Lander to continue his basketball career beyond Rabun. “We’re trying to keep that momentum going, but we’re tyring to keep a level head and getter better each and every day.”
As for the lofty goals and the team’s pursuit in 2021-22, the expectation is very high.
“We’re going got try to win region this year,” says senior Gus Hood. “We are definitely going to improve our record – we’ve always wanted a winning record. We have a lot of talent this year to do so. Last year we made it to the Elite 8 – we definitely want to go farther. We want to see if we can get to the Final Four, maybe play for a state championship. Those are big goals, but that’s the stuff we really hang our hat on every day…we know we can achieve it as a team.”
Right now, the team is 5-3 overall, marking one of the better starts for the boys team in several years. That includes 3 straight wins to date, and this is a team with so many football players transitioning over, that it will take some time before everyone is playing their best. It’s a daily goal.
“The main thing is making sure we get better every single day when we walk off the court,” says Adcock. “These guys have been putting in the work.”
Adcock also talked about the team’s hot shooting across the board, but also that the boys need to improve on team rebounding. Regardless of the areas that need improvement, it’s clear the #10-ranked team in the state has a lot of hype surrounding it…and the boys like it.
“We like the hype that our team is successful now and moving in the right direction,” adds McKay. “But we have to block it out and stay focused and not get locked in on it. We just have to keep improving.”
With the hype does come the realization that Rabun will be a marquee game for each opponent. But this team is ready and willing to play the best in order to be the best.