Head Coach Wendell Ingram
“We are young and we are going to be pretty dag-gone-good,” said Rockvale Head Coach Wendell Ingram via phone call late August. “I have a kid by the name of Malachi Long. I have Darryl Cotton. I have a kid named Antonio Ward. And Ty Newton. Those four, all summer, were basically our leading scorers. Great guys. Those four are juniors and sophomores.” Coach Ingram played high school basketball under Under Coach Coffman and Coach Lawless.
What is your program’s expectation level this year?
“I told the guys at the end of the summer, whatever we did during the summer, we are going to clear that out,” said Coach Ingram. “We played about 20 games and lost 1 game. There is a little buzz going around the county that we do have the potential to be the District Champs. I think we can come out of here as Region Champs, as well. I really don’t see anybody that…we do have the chance to be to Region Champs.”
Rockvale will always get tough opponents within their district. This season they are battling tough 4-A teams outside of the district too.
“We have a decent little schedule. We play Cane Ridge. We play Columbia, Ravenwood. We are just trying to compete. “
Finally Rockvale boasts some veteran pieces to lean upon. The program, like the building, was really in its infancy for the last three years. The age of the players was very young and varsity experience scant.
“I really don’t have any freshman that will play varsity minutes this year,” said Coach Ingram. “My son plays for the program. He is a sophomore. I saw a lot of kids, in the hallway, that wasn’t about what I want that culture to be about.
“I got the freshmen (2025) that I want to build around,” said Coach Ingram. “I have some more rising sophomores. My son, Braylon Ingram,. Those are the guys that, if I have to go that deep, I feel like we are in trouble. We have a core 8-10 that is juniors and sophomores. It is going to be a fourth year program. We are going to graduate six seniors and one will basically get a lot of minutes.”
“He’s also a pretty good ball player as well,” said teammateof Braylon.
Rockvale’s Coach Ingram enjoyed a June surprise. Colin Holdman is a senior now, in his fourth season. According to the coach Holdman averaged around 1.5 mpg last winter. “The coaches from the [previous] program said he shouldn’t have been on the team,” recalled Coach Ingram. ” The kid asked me to come to weight room and the gym and he is probably going to be my sixth man this year. He got stronger, faster this summer. I sent some info out on him this summer [to college coaches]. Smart kid. Dad is middle school principal. He has the motor. If he gets in the JuCo program…”
Oakland HS Projected Starters
SG Markeese Wiley (2023)
PF Brody Burchett (2023)
loves the game of teammate , “[He has ] probably best jumper I have seen,” said Ashley. “At least in high school. Moves really well.”
“Can catch and move at elbow,” said Ashley. “He knows all the defensive rotations. Understands the game.”
did not play with Marshall and and the current Oakland High School core at Oakland Middle School. He is both a year younger and Williams attended Blackman Middle School. “My 8th grade year was the first year (2019) they did all together for state,” recalled Ashley. “[We] made the Final 8…Jerrell Franklin Jr. was probably our best player. He got super attached to football.”
Most of that team stayed together throughout high school and their capacity for district success is apparent.
was fantastic at the PH Expo (mid-September), one of the best in the event of 60 men. earned PrepHoopsTN Summer Combine All-Star. Brody Burchett is a inside-out forward who gives opponents a completely unique look alongside Williams.