Watkins hoping for steady growth, dedication with Ferriday boys basketball

Published 12:29 am Sunday, December 17, 2017

After notching three victories this weekend at its home tournament, Ferriday High School (7-6) jolted itself to a winning record.

With a quick turnaround from the start of the season, Trojan coach K.G. Watkins said he still wants to see a great deal of maturation.

“We have to realize that we have to grow. We can’t rely on one or two players that we still have here,” he said. “We need the younger players to start stepping up. At this point, some of them are just not ready to do it.”

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While the process might be taking a little longer than Watkins had hoped, he said he isn’t worried about it all working out.

“It was hard at the beginning because our freshman and sophomores were playing against kids that have been playing for four years,” he said. “They were scared and they were tested under fire, but it takes time.

“It will all work itself out — I really believe it. They have to have confidence in themselves.”

Watkins isn’t cutting any slack, however. He said he needs to see dedication from his players.

“I’m not really going to keep telling them, I’m just going to start sending them home,” he said. “Those that meet my requirements will stay. They will come around, those that want to. Those that don’t, I don’t need them in here in the first place.”

Ferriday will host Mangham Tuesday for its first district game this year, and Watkins said he hopes everything will continue to go smoothly.

A handful of Trojans are still turning the page on their football loss in the LHSAA Class 2A semifinals earlier this month.

“Since we went so far in football, I’m looking to solidify ourselves,” Watkins said. “They are rusty, and I expected that.”

Ultimately, Watkins will do with what he has.

“You can only play the kids you get,” he said. “Sometimes you get blessed with the kind of kids we’ve had for the last few years, but it may just be four more years until that comes along again. We will be fine.”