METSPTS-11-25-21 WINTER PREVIEW '21 — JHS RANGERS_PHOTO

Members of the Joppa High School Rangers basketball team for 2021-22 are, from left, (seated) Brody Greer, Gunner Johnson, Josh McGinness, Micah Hottel, Andrew Lyle; (standing) A.J. Lyle, Bryan Walquist, Maurice Zabala, coach Kaleb Cox, Jacob Smith, Marcus Stallings, Aiden Stubblefield and Nick Shinn.

The Joppa Rangers welcome Kaleb Cox back to the familiar environs of their venerable old wooden-roofed gym.

This time though, he won’t be patrolling the paint for the Rangers, he’ll be “drivin’ the bus.”

Cox was a mainstay on Kenny Harris’ 2017-18 version of Rangers basketball, and this will be his first venture into the world of coaching at the high school level. He said he was excited for the opportunity, and, understandably, a little nervous about it.

Cox has a fair sized number of players for a school as small as Joppa and a decent core to build on, with some unknowns to boot. Of his 12-roster players, Cox can name seven who have at least some varsity experience and four or five who got starting assignments last year.

Brody Greer, Gunner Johnson, Andrew Lyle, Josh McGinness and Jacob Smith all saw considerable playing time and will be counted on heavily this time around. Micah Hottel and Bryan Walquist both have varsity experience and should contribute this year. Aiden Stubblefield, Marcus Stallings and Maurice Zabala could be “X-factors” for Cox.

The Rangers opened their season on Nov. 22 against Pope County at Golconda.

Welcome aboard, Kaleb, and, good luck, Rangers.

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