Paint a picture of discipline and end up with brush strokes of success.
The Olympic High School Trojans have become a model of consistency in the state of North Carolina. Of course you want know why we say that. Consider the following:
- They’ve won six out of the last eight MEGA 7 Conference Championships, including winning the last four a row.
- They haven’t lost a home game in two years, including going undefeated again last year in league play.
- They finished 28-2 the last two seasons and were ranked as high as 25th in the country by USA Today.
- They’ve posted a combined record of 169-58 the last eight seasons.
Did we Michelangelo a clear enough picture of consistency? Thanks, we thought so too. Joking aside, the Trojans have become a powerhouse in the state of North Carolina.
However, while the Trojan’s last two season records were mirroring images of each other, so is the fact that they lost in the 4A State Regionals in back-to-back years. Thankfully, only two seniors, Deriece Parks and Trey Mitchell, have any memory of those loses.
The 2012 Trojans will see four new players fill a roster spot: seniors Jevon Patton and Dante Simmons, junior Cleveland “C.J.” Jackson, and sophomore Emmanuel Olenga.
Olympic will have one of their best gifts given to them going in to the new season: short-memory. The ability to move on to the next play is a concept every coach preaches to their guys. But for the Trojans, it’s an expectation.
“Get up off the floor, dust yourself off, and keep going back at it,” said Head Coach Ty Baumgardner. “We’re going to keep pounding on that door until we knock it down.”
It’s safe to say that this year’s squad is playing with the ole’ chip on their shoulder. While some programs can play with a chip to serve as motivation, the Trojans use it to fuel their own high standards.
Those standards lead all the way to the top, right to Head Coach Ty Baumgardner. Baumgardner is entering in to his ninth season with the team. He has a reputation of being tough. A toughness that not every player can handle. While it may seem harsh that a coach can hold a group of “kids” accountable, it all comes with a lesson that all players need to learn.
Discipline. To look at the big picture of how this program has become so successful under Baumgardner’s watch, discipline is where it all starts.
“We’ve turned Olympic in to a basketball school,” declared Coach Baumgardner.
Baumgardner pushes his players and demands their very best. He admits that he has an old school mentality, but we ask, how old do you have to be before you should understand the importance of discipline? The young men that have played under Baumgardner have experienced the feeling of winning at some high levels and that should not be overlooked. However, none of that winning would be possible without staying disciplined.
The details and hard work that they fight for every day in practice has been a large piece of why the Trojans have reached the success that they have as a program. Details, plus a very supportive administration and student body, have equated to the Trojans being recognized nationally.
Besides hard, disciplined coaching, Olympic has assembled a roster that is full of talent. Here is a breakdown of some of this year’s team standouts:
B.J. Gladden (6’5″ 215 lbs/WF/2013): B.J., who has already committed to the University of Akron, has been this team’s most talked about player. His awesome build already resembles a college-level player. Gladden is a guy at the high school level who has proven to be a match-up nightmare. He’s quick enough to get around bigs his size or bigger. On the flip side, he’s strong enough to muscle smaller, quicker defenders. He has a nose for the ball and will grab rebounds outside of his area. B.J. has very good hands and he’s also very bouncy that allows him to finish above the rim. The Akron Zips have themselves a great addition who is sure to shine in the Mid-Atlantic Conference.
Trey Mitchell (6’5″ 180 lbs/W/2013): Trey is a very versatile scorer who can get it done on the offensive end. He plays with a ton of confidence and isn’t afraid to shoot, so you’d better plan to play him honestly all game. Mitchell is the kind of player who will do whatever is needed to win. In one play he could be diving on the floor for a loose ball, and on the very next he may be guarding the opponent’s best player. Mitchell has excellent length that allows him to guard any position at the high school level. Mitchell is a player who will continue developing in to a very solid player at the collegiate level.
Jevon Patton (5’8″ 165 lbs/PG/2013): Jevon, prior to arriving at Olympic, was expected to be a scoring guard. Patton proved he could do so, and now must prove that he can transition in to a point guard that can run the show. While he’s only been practice with his new teammates for a few months, he has shown promising progress that has Coach Baumguardner believing he could finish games with double-double stats in points and assists this season. Jevon is a very strong player with good lateral quickness. He’s shown he has great ball handling ability and will be very limited with turnovers. Patton is sure to develop in to the type of player a coach would be proud to have run his team.
Deriece Parks (6’5″ 170lbs/SG/2013): Deriece’s role is to be the team’s three point marksmen, and he does his job extremely well. He’s a spot up kind of shooter either in the half court or he can fill the lane and pull up from the perimeter on the break. Parks is a guy you have to locate each time and respect his range. He has ridiculously long length that allows him to get a ton of deflections. As Parks continues to develop, his range and length will make a great addition to any program needing to spread the floor.
Cleveland “C.J.” Jackson (5’11” 165 lbs/PG/2014): C.J. is an extremely smart guard who has both a natural and learned basketball ability. Jackson’s father played Division I ball, and looks to follow in his footsteps of playing at the collegiate level. While his size might pigeon-hole him in to bring a PG at the next level, his 2-guard skills should not be brushed over. Jackson is a consistent shooter from all over the court. He’s a guy who can bring the ball up and lead the offense. His versatility makes him a special player for this team. C.J. allows the game to come to him and possesses a basketball IQ that is beyond his years.
With players like these, we fully expect the Trojans to win one more Class 4A MEGA 7 Conference Championship, before they make the move over to the Southwestern 4A conference for the 2013-14 season.
“‘We’re very proud of what we’ve built here,” said Coach Baumgardner. “We let our game do the talking.”
Yes They Do.
We’d like to thank Head Coach Ty Baumgardner for his time and making this article happen. If you’d like to know more about the Trojan’s program, you can follow Coach Baumgardner on Twitter.