It’s been a difficult year for all teams, but perhaps none more so than Compton. Tony Thomas’ Tarbabes program saw the shooting deaths of three future, current, or former members of the team during the pandemic.
“It was a tough year, tough year for everybody,” said Thomas.
His program is preparing to embark on what will certainly be a strange season, with only seven or eight players on the varsity level due to a variety of issues.
“We lost kids obviously over the summer, we had kids quit and say they don’t want to get in shape to play, it’s really sad,” said Thomas.
Compton finished 20-10 overall and third place in the Moore League last year, and are hoping to move up in the standings this season. In order to do so, they’ll need talented newcomers to step up in a big way.
Patrick Johnson, Jaylen Richardson, Isaiah Daniels, Brandon Releford, and transfer Malachi Scott will form the starting unit, which Thomas said he’s happy with.
“I like our starting five, we just don’t have any depth,” he said. “We also didn’t schedule any nonleague games because everyone is still playing travel ball still and I’m not trying to get anyone hurt. We gotta get our consistency together and learn to play together.”
Compton will also be without a real home gym this season as its campus prepares for a complete knockdown renovation, and will instead host home games at Centennial High in Compton. Thomas said that at the end of a year like no other, he’s excited to get back to coaching his team.
“We’re not bad, I do like our starting five,” he said. “Other than that, we’re going to see how this goes.”