Curtis Baptist coach Nathan Duffie remembers those years when repeated
30-point blowout losses led to yearning for basketball season.
But this season, the Crusaders play Thomas Jefferson on Friday in a game that’s going to act as the GISA Region 1-A championship. Both teams are 4-0 in the region.
The championship setting comes after the Crusaders matched or set the program’s best single-season win total in 2010, 2011, 2012 and this season. After a three-win season in 2010, the Crusaders won four in 2011 and went 6-6 in 2012.
This year, Curtis Baptist is already 7-2 and beat defending state champion Frederica in September.
“Our kids went, ‘Man, we could play with anybody,’ ” Duffie said. “When you play with a team that won the state title, you go, ‘Oh, maybe we could.’ It’s not a pipe dream, an, ‘Oh yeah, let’s win state this year,’ but you’re 3-8 and losing to the state champs by 50.”
Averaging 38.2 points per game, the Crusaders have never had this kind of depth. Eighteen of the 26 players have a rushing attempt, with senior Trey Reid the leader with 737 yards.
“I think they’ve got the best team they’ve ever had,” Thomas Jefferson coach Chuck Wimberly said. “I really believe that.”
Besides Reid, though, it’s mostly a junior-heavy team with Reid’s brother, Christian, and Naquan Wright, among many others.
Some are new to the program this year, but others have been around and gotten stronger in the weight room.
“This is my first year here, and it’s a great experience,” Wright said. “It’s a blessing to be here, really.”
But this week’s game against Thomas Jefferson is the measuring stick.
The Jaguars have won five state championships, are 6-4 this year against a tough schedule and have beaten Curtis Baptist 10 years in a row. Last year, Thomas Jefferson won 54-0.