16 Nov Springdale Preparatory School Launches Basketball Program
The Springdale Preparatory School Lions have begun play for its inaugural 2018-19 varsity boys basketball season. After several preseason scrimmages and the first two regular season contests, the Springdale Lions are sporting a 1-1 record. Springdale handled Koa Sports of Bethesda 99-80 and fell to Spire Institute of Geneva, Ohio, 101-83.
“Our program is well ahead of schedule with 17 athletes who can contribute both academically and athletically,” says Tyrone Johnson, head coach of the SPS boys’ varsity team who also serves as dean of students at the New Windsor independent school. “We have instituted an aggressive style of play on both ends of the court with an onus on the cerebral aspect of the game.”
The eight-man varsity roster includes three seniors, Olando Merrick and Kaream Carter from Atlanta, Georgia, and Vincent Douglas II from Mobile, Alabama. The junior varsity roster, which will begin its season on November 28, comprises nine players.
Students, particularly the three seniors, committed to Springdale Preparatory School to be part of the program being built by Johnson, who was highly regarded as the head varsity basketball coach at Whitefield Academy in Mabelton, Georgia. At Whitefield, he developed and implemented training programs for assistant coaches and players, managed team schedules and budgets and prepared players for post-secondary competition. Johnson also served as assistant athletic director, and coordinated all basketball department activities including eligibility compliance, administrative support, and physical education department management.
Among Johnson’s most recent coaching accomplishments are Region 6A Coach of the Year in 2017, Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Final Four in 2015 and 2016, state runner up in 2014, and in 2012, GHSA state champions, Georgia Sports Writer Coach of the Year and Marietta Daily Journal Coach of the Year.
“Tyrone is a phenomenal leader of young men on the basketball court,” Graham adds. “He impresses many in the phenomenal way he teaches the game, and his many championships are noteworthy. We look forward to his leadership and service as a role model and teacher for our athletes.”
Johnson aims to build a national program and appointed Brandon Costley as assistant basketball coach. The team’s schedule is filled with national caliber programs and tournaments. Spire, for instance, has seven players with Division I offers or commitments on its roster and recently added LaMelo Ball to its roster. Johnson’s goal is for the SPS seniors to play college basketball.
“We relish the opportunity to play against the very best,” he says.
The Springdale Lions are playing an independent schedule, culminating in the NACA tournament.