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Tuesday, 17 March 2020 14:46

Archers Enjoy Springtime of Youth at Annual All Star Festivities

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ANAHEIM, CA - As the OBWL descended on  HSBC London Palace for the annual all star festivities, the Archers find themselves in an interesting predicament.  "We're ahead of schedule," said General Manager Eric Stelle, "as initally forcasted, our coaching staff would have had enough time to get our group of young players together and develop them as a unit just in time to have many veteran contracts expire and perhaps pursue a free agent who could complete the puzzle.  There's no end of sayings about making plans and that's happened to us in a happy way."  The Archers were supposed to collect a lottery pick again this year according to preseason forecasting; however, they are currently in the #8 spot in the American Conference.  Debate rages among fans and talking heads about what the best course of action is.  One side says the Archers should leverage having their own draft pick and not push the young players too much too early.  The other side says let the play speak for itself since winning games makes Anaheim a more desirable location for pending free agents.  "There is a lot of season left to play," said Stelle, "but I'd be lying if I said I was not pleased.  Randolph [Wright] is more comfortable in the offensive flow.  We get a full season of Ray [Weston] after spending his first season at our affiliate.  Don and Glenn make for an effective back court, and Jonesy [Eugene Jones] has played some big minutes.  People seem to forget that we're the second youngest team in the league... about a month and a half older than the Coyotes on average.  The only place to go is up and if the 8th seed is the floor... well, suffice to say, I have high hopes."


Turning to the festivities the Rookies vs. Sophomores game, second year players Wright, Weston, and McDaniel started for the Sophomore team and were joined by Portland's top pick David Sage and Chicago's prolific shooter, Erasmo Dryden.  For the Rookies, Chicago was represented again with top overall pick Bryon Dambrosio and Pioneer sensation Ambrose Vela.  Rounding out the front court was the Archers' own William Azevedo.  Blair "The Butcher" Bedard (as he was dubbed by fans in Detroit) and Ft. Worth's Geraldo Ibanez completed the starting five.  Despite hot shooting all around, the Sophomores were nigh unstoppable. Ray Weston's 24 point, 12-18 game and Jose Gaynor's 23 point, 11-17 game were book ends to a 130-101 romp by the sophomores.  Randolph Wright only saw 18 minutes in the game but that seemed all right with him.  "It was nice to watch them go at it," said Wright after the game, "Jose's a heck of a player and it was nice to be a fan for a game.  Ray had himself a monster game on Willie and you know he's gonna hear about that one in shoot arounds.  Don't get me wrong Big Willie [Wright's nickname for the undersized power forward] represented too... they just have different games is all."


With the stadium clear of fans now and the sounds of "oooh" after watching the latest acrobatic dunk get thrown down, it promises to be a season of struggle down the stretch but also a season of progress.  As Glenn Hunt and James Ross (former teammates from St. John's) were at the airport, the Archers' beat writer caught up with them for a moment.  "We're blessed to be here at this point in time," said Hunt of his stint with the Archers, "After I was drafted by Las Vegas, I have to admit, I was top of the world.  The I was cut.  That's how quick it can change in here so I'm enjoying every chance I get to get on this court.  That I get a chance to do it with my boy J.R. makes it all sweet for as long as it can last."  "You train and prepare and nothing can fully tell you what it's like," said Ross who was selected #15 overall, "it was a little overwhelming if I'm honest and I'm just trying to get quicker, trying to get better... we all are.  That you can have those 'figure it out" moments with people in the same struggle as you is empowering but, like Hunter here, it can all be done before it's even started.  So we all push and to get even little crumbs of success?  It's sweet."

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