Because of the rumors, because of his instincts, his schedule is so deep that he’s starting to train players at the youngest age, and Keith Taylor needed to know as he’s starting to understand how high school basketball has been skewed over the past decade. was coming.
Now the basketball coach at Chester High reduces everything to a vaguely familiar slogan.
“What Chester does,” he said, “others take it.”
Chester does a lot. He is particularly adept at developing basketball players, and Taylor has been lamenting the final cost of this ready dynamic as high major Clippers forward candidate Larenzo Jerkins left to join South Philadelphia’s Neumann-Goretti after his second season. A 6-5 fighter with an anticipated growth spurt, Jerkins is a natural rim defender and timely striker and would be a key piece for the Clippers over the next two years. But even before sophomore year, Jerkins was confirming that he was being deceived not by college applicants but by the high school variety.
As a sophomore, Jerkins used to say “Many” before playing. “They were trying to reach me. Schools like O’Hara, Archbishop Carroll. Lots of teams. ”
At the time, Jerkins was proud to resist and verbally promised the Clippers that the basketball tradition will never be ignored. With this, he would become the first team All-Delco last season as he helped Chester make it to the PIAA Class 5A Final Four.
“They have a lot more to offer here,” he said at the time. “So it wasn’t hard for me to choose to stay. It just feels like home. Orange and black is my thing now. The love they have shown me here and the way they have treated me is extraordinary. And I really want to spend the next two years here.”
So that’s not going to be Jerkins’ option, according to the rules. Still, for a man who’s been on the Chester program for most of his life as an actor and coach, it’s not just annoying, it’s puzzles.
“We were frustrated by that,” Taylor said. “Every year elementary kids continue to do that with Biddy League kids. They approach our parents to ensure that their children come to ‘this school where they can get a better education’. I have never seen a child in Chester who had never been educated, had not received a good education. If you want to study here, you can study.
“When it comes to athletics, we’ve had our pluses. And our children go to school. My point is, if you’re in one of those other schools, you chose to go. You asked. But we’ve had some kids go back to (Chester) high school because things didn’t go their way. ”
High school athletes transferring to private or preparatory schools, or in some cases remote sports academies, have become a nationwide trend, including but not limited to Chester. What’s about to infuriate Taylor and some Clippers fans is that one of the reasons Chester has been successful in high school basketball for decades is his commitment to raising players at a young age. If this process is pushing them away from Fred Pickett Jr. by latecomers. Gym, then the pipeline will soon be too cracked to work. Likewise, Taylor will continue, recognizing that the system can benefit the Chester youth, even if they play basketball elsewhere.
“We do that too,” he said. “And we’re focusing on the kids here. We take care of them and make sure they are on the right track.”
That’s the point of amateur sports, but coaches from programs outside of Chester have turned it into a backdoor feeding system designed only to win state championships… not because the Clippers haven’t won their own eight championships.
“We will continue to compete,” Taylor said. But unlike these schools, if a 6-9 guy graduates, we can’t just go out and find 6-10 guys to replace him. This is the difference. And it hurts you. ”
Chester hasn’t won a state championship since 2012, but was in his 30th Final Four in March. Yet key contributors Isaiah Freeman and Qadir Lowrie have graduated, Jerkins has transferred, and Taylor’s program will rise again to Class 6A, complicating plans to hang a ninth banner.
“We’re still young,” Taylor said. “We still need to identify a great guy who can score and become the person he needs to be. We had some big and small kids from last year and they have to work extra hard to be what they can be. ”
Among the Clippers returning will be Kyree Womack, who is returning to Chester after a quick transfer to Roman Catholicism. This is the nature of the multidirectional system, which is newer if flawed.
“It is,” Taylor said. “We can do what we do, work hard in the summer, and then be ready to do this run by December.”
Later on? He will know what is to come.
Jack McCaffery ile [email protected] Contact at Centurymedia.com.