Oscar Smith tops state rankings, off to best start in school history

CHESAPEAKE (WAVY) – It’s expected that Oscar Smith High School will be in contention for state football championships. Coach Richard Morgan’s team fell just a few plays and a triple-overtime thriller short of bringing home its third state trophy last fall.

The Oscar Smith basketball team has almost been an after-thought, but this year’s team is doing their best to try and change that.

“Oscar Smith is a powerhouse now, not just known for football,” said senior guard Desmian Devane.

Teammate and senior guard Donald Hicks had no problem reiterating, “A lot of people’s opinion is we’re a football school. so that’s one of the main things we’re trying to do right now, is put up a banner for basketball.” The Tigers (13-0) are off to their best start in school history, and are currently rated the best 6A team in the Commonwealth.

“It’s a great feeling, even though we still have a lot of work to do, and it’s great for the kids. They work hard to get to this point,” said head coach Lavar Griffin, who was named the region Coach of the Year a season ago, and who’s team has already clinched its second straight Southeast District title.

And they’re doing it with one of the most experienced teams in the state. Oscar Smith’s roster includes seven, yes seven, seniors, five juniors and only two sophomores. The core group of Hicks, Devane and guard Daquon Copeland have come up through the ranks since they were freshman.

“It’s all starting to pay off. It’s still early, but we feel like we can do some special things throughout the year,” said Hicks, who’s committed to play at Radford University next season.

The team knows it still has a ways to go, but coach Griffin has no problem motivating his experienced group. “I always tell them, later on in life you’re going to come back to Oscar Smith and you’re going to walk inside the gym, look up at the ceiling and see something special,” he said.

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