Destin Middle School Marlins have three big 'E's' in their favor for basketball

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

The Destin Marlin boys' basketball team has three things working in its favor thus far – enthusiasm, experience and effort. 

"I’m seeing a lot of enthusiasm,” said Destin Coach Bob Davies. “This is probably the first year that we have eight or nine guys that are all on the same level.” 

Charlie Frankfurt tries the work the ball inside during drill on Thursday at Destin Middle School. Marlins from left are Greyson Sommerville, Frankfurt, Xavier Crawford, Mason George and Jordan Figueroa.

In the past, the Marlins haven’t had that kind of depth. But with a deeper bench, Davies is hoping to keep fresh players on the court at all times. 

The depth, “will enable us to substitute a lot of guys and not miss a beat,” Davies said. “So, we should be able to run a lot and not get fatigued. That’s going to make for a fun year.

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“We will be able to play more aggressive defense, because I’ll always have fresh legs and won't have to worry so much about foul trouble,” he added. “It’s just really neat to have this many players that can play.”

Mason George, a newcomer to Destin basketball, goes up for a shot during practice drills.

Returning starters for the Marlins are eighth graders Jordan Figueroa and Gabe Escalera.  

Two more returning players, who Davies said were “right on the bubble of starting,” are Charlie Frankfurt and Ethan Chance, both eighth graders. 

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“Those two are like having two more starters back as well,” Davies said. “So, we’ve got a lot of experience coming back with those four."

The Marlins open up against Lewis Middle of Valparaiso on Nov. 4 at Lewis at 5 p.m. in a non-conference match, and then play them again on Nov. 18 at home. 

Coach Ron Griffiths, left, will be working with the offense and Coach Bob Davies will head up the defense for the Destin Marlin boys basketball program.

Destin doesn’t have a conference game until Dec. 2 at home against Ruckel of Niceville at 5 p.m. 

Another Marlin Davies is looking to shine on the court is eighth grader Greyson Sommerville.

“He’s an incredible sharp shooter,” coach said, noting this is his third year on varsity. 

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“We’ve got a lot of experience,” Davies added. “We have more varsity minutes than any other team in the conference right now.” 

As for newcomers, Destin has a few new surprises to the Marlin squad. 

One being eighth grader Mason George.  

Destin Bob Davies works with the team on fast breaks during a recent practice.

“Mason George just kind of came out of nowhere … we didn’t even know who he was. But he can run like a deer and jump out of the gym,” Davies said. “He’s tough as nails and we’re so excited about him. He’s going to have an excellent year.”

Another newcomer showing promise is eighth grader Xavier Crawford. 

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“He just started playing the game a few weeks ago and he’s already improved by leaps and bounds. By year's end there’s no telling how good he’s going to be,” Davies said as a smile spread across his face. 

Others looking good on the court are eighth grader Lincoln Broussard, who Davies said is a “nice little shooter” and seventh grader Ebner Ingram. 

Sixth graders King Clemons and Cameron Davis have moved up to varsity. 

Fifth grader Will Horin looks to pass the ball inside. Horin is on the junior varsity Marlin team but the varsity practice squad as well.

Eighth grader Julio Vizcarrondo will see some time at the guard position. 

Making the junior varsity team and the varsity practice team is fifth grader Will Horin.  

“From everything we’ve seen he’s going to be one to watch in the future,” Davies said of Horin. 

In addition to enthusiasm and experience, the Marlins are showing a lot of effort. 

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Davies said the defense will be the strong point of the Marlins this year, running a 1-3-1. 

“We’re running that because we’ve got the effort and athletes to run it and the grit,” he said. “Athletically I think our defense will be good. I think we will be able to do well in transition.”

Destin Athletic Director and Coach Ron Griffiths will be working with the offense on the Marlin basketball team.

Plus, the Marlins have the shooters to get the points. Fans can look for Sommerville, Chance and Noe Batille to hit the long shot. 

“But we will be pounding the ball inside … we’ve got some size and athleticism,” he said. Crawford tops out at 6-foot-1 and Figueroa at 5-foot-10. 

Helping Davies out with the Marlins is Athletic Director and Coach Ron Griffiths. 

“I’ll run the defense and Coach G runs the offense,” he said, noting it will help them focus on their aspect of the game. 

“I think rotating the duties is going to help us a lot … it’s going to be a fun year,” Davies said.