Coach optimistic for FCHS Pilots’ potential

by Mark Collier

Coach Craig Clay will return for his second year as Head Coach of the Fulton County High School boys’ basketball program, looking to improve on an 13-13 record last season and a loss in the first round of the First District Tournament.

Clay also has four years of experience as an assistant coach, and his staff will be rounded out by assistant coaches Chuck Murphy and Josh Lutz.

The 2023-24 edition of the Pilots will be made up of a lot of youth and experience, as only one starter returns and five players total return from last year’s squad.

Two seniors, three juniors, eight sophomores and one freshman make up the roster, and Coach Clay says the starters have yet to be determined.

Coach Clay believes his best three point shooter is Christian Smith, while the best free throw shooter is Jadarian Smith.

Tristen Kinney was appointed as the best player and leader of the team, as he averaged double figures last with 10.5 points per game, and pulled down 8.5 rebounds per game, as he was tabbed All-District during the 2022-23 season.

Coach Clay believes Jadarian Smith is the most improved on the team, while Caden Kimble will be the sixth man, coming off the bench after recovering from ACL surgery.

When asked about goals for the upcoming season, Coach Clay answered “to get players more game experience (as) we are very young and inexperienced. We want to be in the district championship game and advance in All A tournament. More importantly get better as the year goes along.”