Jason Iles takes over as FPHS varsity boys’ head coach –
By Wade Linville –
Expectations are running high for this year’s Fayetteville-Perry Rockets as the varsity boys basketball program brings six seniors to the hardwood while under the leadership of first-year varsity head coach Jason Iles who served as an assistant coach and junior varsity coach of the program over the past three years under his uncle and former varsity head coach, Darryl Iles.
Among the key players on the return for the Rockets this season is senior guard Max Lanham who led the team in scoring as a junior last year with an average of 15.9 points per game.
Also on the return for the Rockets is senior point guard Nic Ball, a third-year varsity point guard who averaged five points and 2.2 assists per game last season.
Other seniors taking the court for the Rockets this season include 5’11” forward Tay Call, 6’3″ postman Caleb Evans, Garhett Thompson (6’1″), and Tyler Kingus (5’11”).
Evans returns with a bit of varsity experience, averaging 1.3 points and one rebound per game coming off the bench last season.
The Rockets are also equipped with some size and talent in the junior class with 5’10” guard Colin Connor, 6’5″ postman Zak Smyth, 6’4″ postman Malachi Shelton, 6’3″ postman Luke Wiederhold, and Clay Davis (6’0″) appearing on the varsity roster.
Smyth averaged four points and 4.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season, a player who has worked hard in the offseason to improve his game.
“There’s not a kid on the team who had a better summer than Zak (Smyth). He put in the most work,” said Iles. “Luke Wiederhold has also been working hard. He had some good minutes on varsity and, for a big man, he has really quick feet.”
This year’s Rocket varsity basketball roster also includes sophomores Bowen Doane (5’11”), and CJ McCulley (6’4″), as well as freshman Christopher Murphy (5’9″).
“I expect good things,” Iles said of his expectations for the 2016-17 season. “We have a good core and I think we will be one of the deeper teams in the league. We’ve got size and we’ve got some good guards. We have a lot of tools to work with. I’m excited.”