* Coach: Bob Schaul (second year).

* Last season: 8-14, 5-7 (lost to Madison County, 62-58, in Bull Run District first round).

* Returning starters/letter winners: 1/4.

* Outlook: The Cougars went from no wins in 2000-01 to eight victories last winter, and even six consecutive losses to close the season could not mar the revitalization efforts.

Just a couple of weeks ago, they endured another setback when senior guard Price Ward, a second-team all-Bull Run selection who averaged a team-high 10.8 ppg, decided to give up basketball to concentrate on preparing for a college football career.

Fortunately for Manassas Park, senior point guard Sidney Welch has transferred in from Osbourn to form a solid starting unit that includes J.J. Dufour at shooting guard, cousins Ivan and A.C. Fitchett at forward and Shamel Boyd at center.

In two scrimmages, Welch totaled 35 points, and Boyd notched two double-doubles and nine blocks.

"My starting five will compete with anyone in the district," Schaul said.

A competitive summer that included camp games against AAA schools Salem and Kellam, and a challenging fall playing in a league at North Stafford, have the Cougars hopeful they can measure up with the bigger public schools in a holiday tournament at Fairfax High School.

ROSTER

P

Name

Ht.

Yr.

PPG

C

Shamel Boyd

6-5

Jr.

2.2

G

J.J. Dufour

5-10

Sr.

6.9

F

A.C. Fitchett

6-4

Soph.

4.8

G

Ivan Fitchett

6-0

Jr.

3.0

G

Joe Greene

6-0

Soph.

--

F

Mark Johnson

6-1

Soph.

--

G

Sean Murphy

5-9

Soph.

--

G

DjoDjo Ntumba

5-9

Soph.

--

F

Loren Parks

6-3

Jr.

--

F

Reggie Rigaud

6-3

Jr.

--

G

Jay Tayman

5-10

Soph.

--

F

Dishon Thomas

6-2

Soph.

--

G

Sidney Welch

5-9

Sr.

--

SCHEDULE

Dec. 2: Emmanuel Christian; 3: Randolph-Macon Academy; 6: Stonewall-Mount Jackson (ppd.); 10: James Monroe; 13: at Stonewall-Mount Jackson; 17: Madison County; 18: at James Monroe; 20: at Rappahannock County; 26-28: Fairfax HS tournament.

Jan. 3: at Fairfax; 7: George Mason; 10: at Strasburg; 14: Brentsville; 17: at Clarke County; 21: at Madison County; 24: Rappahannock County; 31: at George Mason.

Feb. 4: Strasburg; 7: at Brentsville; 11: Clarke County.