All hands on deck for Red Devils


 For Freeport, this season is about establishing a foundation for the future. The team has no returning varsity members, but there’s certainly no dearth of young talent. The key this winter, said head coach Larry Steimer, will be refining that talent.

“The main story line this year is we are going to have to look at everybody,” Steimer said. “We’ll have to play 10 to 12 kids and there’s a lot of polishing that will have to go on.”

One youngster Steimer is excited about is freshman Jashaun Jones. The young guard already possesses strong ball handling skills and a knack for the game beyond his years. “In a couple of years, he can be an All-Long Island kid,” said Steimer.

Another guard, junior Marcus Rhymes, has also shown flashes of potential. At center, 6-foot-6 sophomore Elijah Darby has the rare combination of size and outside shooting ability. Steimer expects he’ll still grow a few more inches before he graduates two years from now.

And as far as raw talent goes, no player on their roster may be quicker than junior guard Jaden Threat, who Steimer said is playing his best when he attacks the rim.

It’s an open competition for playing time, with each player receiving their fair share of opportunities in the early stages. “The boys know there’s an opportunity to get in the game,” said Steimer. “They’re a young, athletic group who enjoy coming to practice every day.”

To offset their inexperience, the coach said the Red Devils, who face a challenging Conference AA-1 schedule, will have to play aggressively on defense and parlay turnovers into points. “We’re looking to build something,” Steimer said. “I think this group has the potential to eventually be a playoff team that can do something. There’s a couple of steps we have to take before that happens.”