Prairie Lea looking to fill big holes in lineup
Aside from All-District graduate Alonzo Chapa, the Prairie Lea Indians will also miss All-District DJ Cubit, Jr., who died in a car accident just weeks prior to his junior year.
The Indians are planning to do something to honor Cubit prior to their home-opener on Nov. 17 against Round Rock Christian.
The Indians, coached by Jess Stephens in his second season at Prairie Lea, open their season Thursday at San Marcos Academy.
Prairie Lea returns two starters from last year, including 2nd Team All-District junior Gabriel Garcia and junior Jimmy Soberanes.
Two other varsity players from last season’s 3rd-place district team are also back in junior Lane Fiscus and senior Bryant Garcia. The 2022-2023 PLHS squad lost t Calvert in the Bi-District round.
“Gabriel Garcia will be our floor leader this season, playing point guard, and we will be relying on big scoring from Gabriel Garcia and Jimmy Soberanes,” Stephens said. “I expect these two along with Fiscus, Edwin Canepa and Joe Zapata to be our leaders on the defensive end of the ball.”
Newcomers that will are expected to make immediate impacts are juniors Zapata and Canepa at the guard positions. “This will be their first year to play basketball (at Prairie Lea),” Stephens said, who is also looking for 6-foot-4 sophomore post, Cass Cunningham (the only Indians’ player over 6-0). There are a few younger players to watch as the season goes, such as sophomore guards Hayden Garcia and Ayden Wood, and freshman post Lane Harkey.
“Most of these guys were significant impact players in football this year, and so far, I have been pleasantly surprised to see their speed, strength and chemistry from playing six-man football defense transition onto the basketball court,” Stephens said.
“We are going to lean on our defense this year — hopefully our full-court press and half-court trapping zone will make up for our lack of size and basketball experience. One thing I know about this group of young men is that they are not afraid to put in the work, and as a coach, you can build off that, no matter the size and experience.”
Prairie Lea Indians
16 – at San Marcos Academy (JV 5:30 p.m.; Varsity, 6:45 p.m.)
17 – Home vs. Round Rock Christian (JV 5:15 p.m.; Varsity, 6:30 p.m.)
20 – at Nixon-Smiley (Varsity, 1:30 p.m.)
21 – Home vs. Valor South Austin (JV 5 p.m.; Varsity, 7:30p.m.)
28 – at McDade (JV 4 p.m.)
Nov. 30-Dec. 2 – Fayetteville Classic (Varsity, TBA)
5 – New Braunfels Thunder (JV 5:30 p.m.; Varsity, 6:45 p.m.)
8 – Home vs. McDade (JV 4 p.m.; Varsity, 5:15 p.m.)
12 – Home vs. Shiner (Varsity, 5 p.m.)
14-16 – Prairie Lea Tournament (Varsity, TBA)
18 – Home vs. Runge (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
20 – at Calvert (Varsity, 1:15 p.m.)
28-30 – at Luling Christmas Tourney (Varsity, TBA)
2 – at Flatonia (Varsity, 2:15 p.m.)
5 – at Moulton (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
9 – at Nordheim (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
12 – Home vs. Pettus (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
16 – Home vs. Austwell Tivoli (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
19 – at Waelder (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.
26 – at Runge (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
30 – Home vs. Moulton (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
2 – Home vs. Nordheim (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
6 – at Pettus (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
9 – at Austwell Tivoli (Varsity, 7:15 p.m.)
13 – Home vs. Waelder (JV 5:30 p.m.; Varsity, 6:45 p.m.)