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Dennard takes helm at BA
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Bulloch Academy head coach Chandler Dennard coaches transfer Paul Son and the Gators Tuesday. BA opens the season on Nov. 30. - photo by RAHN HUTCHESON/Special
Monday was a red-letter day for the 2006-07 Bulloch Academy boys’ basketball team.
    It was the first day that head coach Chandler Dennard had all 15 of his varsity players at practice.
    The final Gator football game of the season was Friday night and Monday evening, eight additional players joined Dennard in the school’s gymnasium.
    “Thanksgiving holidays are next week so I figure we’ve got nine good practices before we play,” he said.
    The Bulloch Academy boys will open their season on Nov. 30, traveling to Warrenton to take on Briarwood Academy. The Gators’ first home contest will be Dec. 2 when they host GISA Class AAA Stratford Academy.
    “We’ve got a long way to go,” said Dennard, who begins his first season at Bulloch Academy. “We will return a good nucleus from last year. The addition of transfers Dartavious Brown and Paul Son just adds two more quality athletes to our roster and adds to our depth.”
    And, to hear Dennard tell it, depth will be needed with the Gators’ new style of play.
    “I like to call it organized chaos,” said Dennard, whose teams at Brentwood School won two state championships and made four Final Four appearances in the past four seasons. “We will play pressure defense and fast break on the offensive side of the ball. It may look chaotic at times when we’re moving up and down the floor at that speed but we want to get to a certain tempo and speed of play. Even our zone is a trapping type. We are always going to have pressure on the ball on defense.”
    Keeping the tempo cranked up during the entire contest will call for fresh legs on the court.
    “If you’re playing press defense and moving up and down the floor a lot, you’ve got to shuffle in three or four players at the time,” said Dennard, whose teams have compiled a 149-54 record in his seven years as a head coach. “I feel we have the athleticism to play that style of game.”
    Bulloch lost just one player, senior Patrick Tresey, from last season’s 15-member squad. A talented and athletic group of seniors include Trevor Darden, Wil Hall, James Conner, Jeremiah Masters and William Spigener. The junior class boasts Will Powell, Jordan Walker, Ethan Lovett and Mark Rocker. Sophomores Brown, Chan Newton, Jonathan Williamson and Casey Webb and freshmen Son and Taylor Burke round out the team.
    “With that many returning players and the new pickups, we are going to have people fighting for playing time,” said Dennard. “It makes for very competitive practices.”