By FRANCIS FEDOR
With the HS football season in the books, two-sport stars, junior Greg Smith (QB/Forward) and Tyler Williams (WR/Forward), jump from the football field to reunite on the hardwood. The pair will be joined by the returning dynamic guard Isreal Vargas, who will be playing in his senior season, and sophomore Caleb Williams, who had an outstanding freshman campaign, leading the team with 15 points-per-game. The Stingrays add senior guard Josiah Harding and senior guard Sterling Washington from West Palm Beach to the roster.
The 2022-23 edition of Sumner Stingray basketball will open its season on Nov. 29 with an away game against Durant. The team plays its first game in front of the home crowd against rival East Bay, and the gym should be rocking in only the second game of the season for the two teams. The Stingrays already have played a tournament game beating Lakewood Ranch 83-50 on Nov. 15 in a tune-up to prepare to open the season. The regular season wraps up with an away game at Gaither on Jan. 27 where the Stingrays will hope to be looking towards the playoffs for their third season in a row. They have 24 games on the schedule for their season, three of those in 7A District 11 play, a move away from their previous 6A District competition. Sumner will be in a district bracket that includes Newsome, Riverview (South Shore rival), Lakewood Ranch and Strawberry Crest.
Sumner will be looking to improve on its 17-9 2021-22 campaign where it finished third in district play. The first two games of the 2022-23 season will replicate the team’s opponents of the 2021-22 season, but the sites will be reversed. The Stingrays beat Durant at home in a very tight game to open last season and then won by 10 at East Bay the next night.
The Stingrays are led by head coach Jamie Turner, who will be entering his third season as the leader of Sumner basketball. The squad played to an 11-9 record in its first season and is a cumulative 28-18 over its first two seasons as a program. The Stingrays played two playoff games in their first season but made a deeper run in their second season, winning three of four playoff games before bowing out against Wharton. They will be looking to renew the excitement of last season’s playoff run and take the next step. The Sumner HS gym will be rocking and no better way to start off than by welcoming South Shore rival East Bay to open the home schedule on Friday, Dec. 2, at 6:30.