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Proctor Academy Tries to Rebuild

September 18, 2010 Columns No Comments

ANDOVER, N.H. – Gregor Makechnie is up front about his team: this season may be a challenge for Proctor Academy. The Hornets lost seniors and two juniors from last season’s team, with one junior leaving a little too late to recruit a suitable replacement. The result is a team that will be small and young, and likely with some growing pains.

The Hornets aren’t lacking talent entirely. Of the mature players, Fabrizio Li Gambi (6’1″ Sr. PG-SG, Cordoba (Argentina)) leads the way as he showed a touch shooting the ball. His body isn’t there yet, so there’s some physical upside. Another post-graduate, De’Vaghn Millington (6’1″ Sr. PG-SG, Ridgefield (CT)) is a good football player who is being recruited as a running back, and didn’t work out with the team on Friday.

One football player who was in the gym was Mike Lombard (6’4″ Jr. SF-PF, Pelham (NH)). A well-built tight and and linebacker on the gridiron, he’s out for about a week with an injury although he did some non-contact drills. There, he showed a nice touch shooting the ball from deep, getting hot a couple of times.

Mike Geanellis (6’3″ So. SG-SF, Williamstown (MA)) also plays soccer, but will get plenty of minutes with this team. He struggled to finish on Friday before faring better during shooting drills. Classmate Blake Joppy (5’10” So. PG, Gaithersburg (MD)) has a slight frame and a body that has a ways to go, and after the first time around he shot the ball very well from deep.

The youngest player on the team is also the one to keep an eye on. Jibreel Faulkner (6’5″ Fr. SF, Takoma Park (MD)) turned 14 not long ago and looks it, as he’s very much a baby physically. His play during two-on-two action included a turnaround jumper. He shot the ball reasonably well in later shooting drills, after some struggles at first. Notably, he moves his off hand when shooting the ball, something he will have to work on although he showed he can knock down some shots.

Makechnie knows this season will be a challenge, but is hopeful that his younger players can form a nucleus to build around. If that happens and they are competitive, they can manage through this season towards a brighter future, where the growing pains they will surely experience this season will then seem worth it.

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