PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Holderness School has tended to fly under the radar in the world of NEPSAC basketball. Although they had a couple of good teams with solid Division I prospects a few years back, they haven’t sustained that run. They have continued to land some prospects at the highest level, and now a new head coach will try to get them going again.
Former Cornell and Boston College assistant coach Woody Kampmann took over as the head coach in August, so his team was pretty set by the time he got the job. He inherits a group that has some good holdovers, as well as newcomers with potential.
The big holdover he can hang his hat on looks to be James Tyrrell (6’0″ Sr. PG, Dorval (Que.)). Also a wide receiver who scored a couple of touchdowns in the football team’s win a day earlier, he’s a returning starter and there’s no doubt about his effort. He made a couple of heady passes and hit some shots from long range. Another holdover, Tony Boateng (5’9″ So. PG, Bronx (NY)), will get time at the point. He’s quick, but his lack of size means he’ll have to be crafty when he drives inside to either ty to score or find teammates.
Thomas Jackson III (6’2″ Jr. SG, Middletown (CT)) transferred in and should play a significant role right away. He sat out Sunday’s workout due to a bum ankle, but should be back to working out shortly. Chad Knighton (6’1″ Sr. SG, Lisbon (NH)), another holdover, also plays soccer and was not present due to a game.
There are a few candidates on the wing. Charles Harker (6’4″ Sr. SG-SF, Janesville (WI)) is one of them, a glue guy-type who is also the student president and an engaging young man. Josh Joyce (6’3″ Sr. SG, Gilford (NH)) returns to where he started, as he attended as a freshman before going to Gilford High School for two years. Joyce is another football player who has a good motor and can handle the ball some, though he has a low release on his jumper and it wasn’t going on Sunday. Ziggy Tracey (6’4″ Jr. SG-SF, Utica (NY)) has the most upside, a plus athlete who got better as the workout went on and can shoot.
The frontcourt will feature a couple of prospects that have good upside. Daniel Cabassa (6’7″ So. PF, Bronx (NY)) is athletic, has a good body that can develop more and some tools, but doesn’t quite know the game yet. You can see his potential from plays he makes, such as the time he went coast-to-coast for a layup off a made basket, as well as his effort. Sukhail Mathon (6’9″ So. PF-C, Shavertown (PA)) has great hands and showed some nice post fundamentals, including some good passing out of the post. There’s reason to like his upside as his body matures and he hones his skill set.
The schedule features appearances in three special events – the Scholar Roundball Classic in December, the Rivers Holiday Classic later in the month and the Hoop Dreams Prep Classic in January. Holderness will also host Brewster Academy and travel to play New Hampton.
Holderness has never been loaded with talent, though they have produced their fair share of Division I players. This year’s team isn’t very different in that respect. As Kampmann starts out, he has a team that looks coachable and that has some clear upside, and while no one will predict a championship this season, they should be a tough out, especially in their home gym. That might be the case more so later in the season as they younger players have time to develop.