ETV News stock photo by Jeff Barrett
Pinnacle is ready to tip off its inaugural season with head coach Ray Jones at the helm. The Panthers were able to briefly take the court prior to the governor’s mandate, allowing Jones to catch a glimpse of his new team. “I like what we have and what I saw,” said Jones. “They were so excited. The enthusiasm they have for the sport is thrilling to me.”
It will be a senior-loaded team as just under 10 seniors will don the purple and black. “We have some shooters and some that can handle the ball,” Jones explained. “There’s just a lot of learning and teaching.”
Jones comes into the program after playing basketball at the college level and most recently coaching as an assistant at Utah State University Eastern. He will install a motion system in order to create space and get a lot of players involved. “That’s just offense though, defense is what I’m excited about.” He continued, “There’s nothing better than looking over [at your opponent] and thinking ‘you better stop us because you aren’t scoring.'”
“Our goal is to teach. Teach them how to play the game the right way and put them in situations to be successful,” explained Jones.
It may take some time for the Panthers to fully grasp the new system, but Jones has been pleased with their early progress. “We may not start on top of the mountain, but we can take the stairs.” Jones concluded, “If they can trust the process and watch their improvement, it will open their minds to what they can achieve.”