McGee

Weldon guard Samaria McGee (13) dribbles around a Southeast Halifax defender during a Jan. 18 clash at Crowells Crossroads. The sophomore should see expanded minutes at the helm of this year’s ball club — if the season isn’t nixed by escalating cases of COVID-19.

On Monday, Weldon City Schools superintendent Jerry Congleton responded to a Herald inquiry by stating that, for now, all athletics in the district are on hold — a stance consistent with those taken in recent weeks by Halifax and Northampton County Schools.

What remains to be seen, of course, is the reach of said status, and whether or not it will clutch any or all of the 2020-2021 Charger basketball season — always a source of great pride on County Road.

Alas, we offer a look at what could be this winter for the Navy Blues — with could being the operative word, of course.

A new leadership model

Senior Demajai Brickell is most likely to lead this year’s guard-heavy group, with target-specific wing support from classmate Conye Davis, a crafty scorer who saw run in 17 games a season ago.

Weldon loyalists could also see an expansion of duty for Jacquan Manley, who delivered key minutes in the second round of last year’s Northampton County Christmas Tournament, which the Chargers captured for a second consecutive season.

The frontcourt agenda will undoubtedly be commanded by Daily Herald Player of the Year candidate Jaheim Parker, a live-wire forward who averaged 14.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game last season.

Also seeking opportunity in the paint will be Jordan Travis and Andre Stewart Jr., a pair of seniors capable of rebounding, defense and timely scoring.

As parts and pieces go, solid.

But will they, in short rotations, defend on a high level, or be able to get late-game buckets, as Jalen Lynch and Michael Vincent did over the last two years?

With any hope, we’ll find out soon enough.

Much to replace, much to replicate

So, just how does one go about the task of replacing 74% of a team’s scoring, 63% of its rebounding and 89% of its assists?

Good question, and one figuring Weldon’s task this winter, as basketball life sans Skylah Travis, Tecara Ashe and Ashaunti Mungin — a savvy trio that helped the Chargers to a 91-8 mark over its varsity lifespan — finally gets underway.

Which means, in all likelihood, endless opportunity for Taniyah Washington, who went for 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals per night as a junior, and Shayla Boone, who appeared in 27 games as a sophomore.

Also stepping into a max-capacity role should be sophomore Samaria McGee, who collected reserve minutes and on-the-job point guard training as the backup to Ashe a year ago.

Beyond those contributors, uncertainty abounds — spelled, in all likelihood, by learning-curve moments that will see the Chargers’ winning ways absorb a few lumps this year.