GREENWOOD, SC – As a football and basketball coach at Emerald High School for the past 17 years, Mark Sorrow had never been given the opportunity to lead the Vikings’ Boys Varsity Basketball team.
Sorrow, who has led the Junior Varsity squad for the past 15 years, was given his chance after former coach Robin Scott retired following the 2011 season. Sorrow has made the most of the opportunity so far, leading the Vikings to a 2-0 start in 2012.
“I’ve been the coach at the JV level ever since I’ve been here, 15 of the 17 years,” Sorrow said. “It was the next stop in line, once Coach (Robin) Scott decided to retire from basketball. I’ve coached all these kids, so it was just a comfortable fit for them and for me.”
According to Sorrow, his coaching philosophy throughout his career has been predicated on strong defense utilizing the Vikings’ quick, athletic players. Osharmar Abercrombie, Stan Hackett, Mill Hackett and Kelvis Louden are all expected to be key contributors on both sides of the ball, fitting into Sorrow’s defensive mentality. The Vikings’ head man is hoping that the plethora of athletic wing players at his disposal will allow them to create pressure on opposing offenses, creating their own offense as a result.
“What we have preached from day one is that it starts on the defensive end of the floor,” Sorrow said. “We want to play hard defensively, fast defensively, and sound. Our offense will take care of itself, but our defense has to feed that. We have a lot of quick players and we need to take advantage of that by how we play defensively, full court at times, being strong in man to man, whatever we are in we have to use our speed.”
After winning their first two contests to open the 2012 season, the Vikings will play host to cross-town rival Greenwood Friday night. According to Sorrow, the comfort level found among he and his players must continue as the Vikings prepare for the remainder of the season. Tip-off is set for 7:30 at Emerald.
“Well, so far it’s been good,” Sorrow said. “We are 2-0 right now. All of our guys know what I expect from them and I know what I am getting from all of them because I have coached all of them. It’s just been a good fit so far.”