MAKING UNFATHOMABLE STRIDES
ARLINGTON, Texas — Because of various COVID-19 concerns that essentially altered the overall landscape of the sports world as we know it, Terrance Lofton wasn’t sure if his first full season as a high school head basketball coach would materialize.
At least not in 2020-21.
Nevertheless, Lofton, like many other prep coaches throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area, managed to steer his team through what undoubtedly was an unusual season amid the global pandemic that is the coronavirus outbreak.
For Lofton, the first-year coach at Arlington Lamar, it was time well invested to an upstart Vikings team that managed to atone for its sluggish start.
After being dealt consecutive losses to begin the season at 0-2, Lamar reeled off wins in 10 of its final 16 outings en route to a 10-8 record that was accompanied by a third-place finish (7-4) in the Texas Region 8 District-6A standings.
Even in the wake of an unconventional season that, by all accounts, brought about its share of challenges, Lofton was impressed in large part of how his players routinely — and collectively — demonstrated a renewed sense of poise, coupled with an array of resilience in the process.
“I learned that in the midst of various distractions, our guys were tough and resilient,” Lofton, a former Stephen F. Austin State University basketball standout, told Making Headline News this week.
Generally, the pliancy the Vikings exemplified throughout a majority of season is something by which Lofton hopes will transcend into what figures to be a venturous offseason for a Lamar team that’s aiming to build on this year’s success.
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A team that enjoyed a season-best four-game undefeated streak during a pivotal two-week stretch in early January, the Vikings subsequently advanced to the opening round of the Texas 6A playoffs before falling to Dallas Lake Highlands, 61-51, in a season-ending setback.
Despite having bid farewell to three starters and five seniors from this year’s roster, Lofton is thoroughly convinced the spunk his club exhibited throughout his first year at the helm is a sign of things to come in 2021-22.
“Hopefully next year, we will keep the tradition of going to the playoffs alive,” Lofton said. “We have been the last two seasons in a row, and we hope to keep it going. So, we should be reloading and keeping things going.”
After all, as far as this rookie high school head basketball coach is concerned, his team’s quest to reload begins now.
Never mind that the regular season is approximately eight months away.
“(Our) offseason will consist of solidifying offense and defense philosophies, getting stronger in the weight room, conditioning on the track, and lots of skill work,” Lofton said.
Sounding very much like a veteran high school coach at this point.
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Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist or Instagram at @makingheadlinenews.