A new era is approaching in boys’ basketball, led by new head coach Alex Hart. Hart is a former Northwood basketball player and graduated in 2008. He won a state championship in 2012 as an assistant coach at New Hanover High School in Wilmington, N.C., and brings a new perspective to Northwood.
“I think right off the bat I bring a lot of pride and passion to Northwood,” Hart said. “Having been a player here, being from Pittsboro, I take it very personally every day to show up to the office and do a good job for the people who put me in the position to be here and build something that our town can be proud of.”
After finishing with a record of 8-16 last year, Northwood looks to rebound. This year, the team is mostly seniors with plenty of experience. Many have played together on an AAU team, the N.C. Eagles, since they were in fifth grade.
“This group plays with a lot of energy and passion,” Hart said. “They have been playing their whole lives together and are very comfortable with each other on the floor. I think fans can expect a group that will go out there and work their tails off. They will make Northwood proud.”
Jared Worley is one of the seniors on this year’s team and is very excited for the season.
“Coach Hart brings a fresh perspective to our team,” Worley said. “I want to end my last year of basketball right.”
The Chargers have a tough schedule this year, including powerhouses Terry Sanford, Person and Northern Durham. Hart believes that the experienced Charger team is up for the challenge.
“We have a very rigorous non-conference schedule,” Hart said. “We aren’t afraid to play anybody.”
While playing a very tough schedule this year, many will also be playing in their final season.
“All of us have been playing together since we were little,” senior Ti Pinnix said. “We just want to go out there and have fun, win some games and make the most of it while it lasts.”
Hart is invested in building a strong team that will make fans proud. The Chargers are hopeful that they will make a deep run this year with a senior-heavy group. This success comes down to two main goals for Coach Hart.
“We have to do the common things uncommonly well,” Hart said. “Basketball is a long season; in order to be successful you have to have a sense of enjoyment inside the team and want to win for each other.”
According to Hart, for the Chargers to be successful this year, it will take not only good play on the court, but also plenty of support from the student section, otherwise known as the Nuthouse.
“Our student crowd is very important; I have never seen any team have success without a lot of support,” Hart said. “We will put something out on the court that everyone will be proud of. We need everyone to be early, loud and hostile. We need to let teams know that when they come to face Northwood, they are coming to face the Nuthouse.”
The Chargers are off to a 5-6 start this year and are 0-2 in conference. They face Cedar Ridge Friday at home in a big conference game.
-By Jacob Sipe