Josh Aros, 28, has waited for 10 years to coach Pointer players. This opportunity finally came about as he rose through the ranks of Pointer hoops, awaiting the day when he would take control.
And that day officially arrived last Friday afternoon as Aros sent his squad onto the hardwood for their season opener, a game against Patrick Henry as part of the Sweetwater tournament in the South Bay.
Aros became familiar with his returning players when he served as a varsity assistant last year on a team that finished 12-15 overall and 5-7 (fifth place) in the Central League.
"This year, we'll have a young team with only two seniors," Aros said after dismissing his team after a pre-season practice session.
"We'll play an up-tempo game," Aros said, "utilizing our athleticism, our length and speed to get up and down the court. We'll press a lot defensively, get in (our opponents') face. It will be a fast-paced game that fans should enjoy."
"We're skilled with and without the ball," Aros said, "with our players ranging from 5-foot 9-inches tall to 6-foot 7-inches in height. Our goal will always be to win (Central) league," he said. "After that, we want to go as far as we can in the playoffs."
Aros will be counting on leadership from his two seniors.
The first, Darnell Johnson (6' 5" guard/point guard) is "one of the top shooting guards and ranked as the 15th best player in the county," Aros said. Colin Cretain (5' 10" guard/point guard) returns after missing last season with a broken arm.
"I'm looking forward to both of them to be leaders on our young varsity team," said Aros.
"I'll also be looking for big things from Kyle Johnson (junior, 6' 4" forward/guard), Dakarai Allen (freshman, 6' 0" point guard/guard) and Yassine Gharram (freshman, 6' 2" point guard/guard). I hope they can contribute a lot," Aros added.
"Grayson Kelle (junior, 6' 4" forward), Tyler Morris (freshman, 6' 5" forward) are others who I'm hoping will develop. Our team hasn't played a lot of basketball but will be learning on the job," Aros observed.
Also returning are sophomores JL Skinner and Riley Wagstaff, along with juniors Kyle Grady and Matt Dorgan. New to the roster are juniors Bryce Morris, Carlos Amarrillaz and Jordan Flores.
Aros is hoping both the student body and the community come out to see his team play and support them.
In the early 1990s, a contingent of Pointer students created the "Dog Pound," a cheering section that captured the attention of school administrators with some boundary-pushing antics.
"I hope the 'Dog Pound' comes out in full force with their appropriate cheers to support us," Aros said with a chuckle.
Aros also understands his role as a basketball coach is an opportunity for him to teach much more to his players than running plays and learning defenses. "I want to give the community a program it can be proud of, to teach kids about basketball but also about life and how to grow up and become a good person," he said.
"I'm also here to mentor these kids about being on time, being accountable, learning how to work with other people and filling roles so that when they graduate they are able to work with a team of people and communicate well," he noted.
Aros served two years as the school's freshman coach and seven years as junior varsity coach before last season's varsity assistant position.
A member of the Pointer class of 2006, Aros wore maroon and gold from the 2002-03 to the 2005-06 season in both basketball and football.
All community members of 63 or older are admitted free to all PLHS sport events except CIF playoffs.
POINT LOMA’S SCHEDULE
Jan. 10 Christian* 5:00
Jan. 13 Coronado* 7:30
Jan. 14 Dos Pueblos 4:15
Jan. 19 Hoover 5:00
Jan. 24 San Diego 5:00
Jan. 27 University City 7:30
Jan. 31 Crawford * 5:00
Feb. 10 High Tech SD 7:30
Feb. 14 Clairemont* 5:00
* Central League game