If the high school boys' basketball teams on the western end of Prince William County continue to trail their competition on the eastern end, Stonewall Jackson Coach Marcus Lawrence does not want it to be for lack of opportunities to play during the offseason.
So Lawrence, who started a spring league two years ago, has now launched the Cardinal Run Summer Basketball League, a 12-team venture that began Monday and runs through its championship July 28.
The county's other summer league, the Metro South, has completed its regular season and concludes with its playoffs next weekend.
"One of my goals since coming out here is just promoting basketball" on the western end of the county, said Lawrence, a former Woodbridge assistant entering his sixth season at Stonewall. "Until you start promoting it where the kids can be involved and do things, you'll always be behind the eastern schools."
Each team will play 10 regular season games, at Stonewall and at new Woodbridge school Freedom, whose coach, Ahmad Dorsett, is assisting with the new league.
Manassas area schools Battlefield, Osbourn, Osbourn Park and Stonewall, as well as private school Seton, are involved. Eastern end schools Freedom and Woodbridge also have signed on.
The other participants are Fauquier (which will join the Cedar Run District this coming school year), Mount Vernon, Lee, Colonial Forge and T.C. Williams.
Lawrence said the new league hopes to gain NCAA certification before next summer, so that college scouts will be able to attend the games.
Metro South Playoffs
The Metro South semifinals are set for Saturday at Potomac, with Hayfield and West Potomac meeting in one of the matchups and Gar-Field and Potomac in the other. Times have not been determined. The championship is July 3.
With guard Eric Hayes sometimes unavailable because of other basketball commitments, Potomac has often relied on guards T.J. Sampson and Deante Steele.
"They're both shooting very well which is a good complement to Eric," Panthers summer league coach Chip Lozinak said. "Teams are going to have a tough time doubling him [next season] because Deante and T.J. can score."
Robinson Headed to Charlotte
Former Woodbridge boys' basketball coach Will Robinson, who was placed on administrative leave in March 2004 for undisclosed reasons and resigned shortly thereafter, has been named head coach at Vance High School in Charlotte.
Hired in April, Robinson takes over a program two seasons removed from a Class AAAA state championship, the largest classification in North Carolina. Vance opened in 1997.
"Just his experience, his knowledge of the game, his contacts, his demeanor," Vance Athletic Director Russell Clayton said Friday about what separated Robinson from the other 11 applicants. "It wasn't close with anybody else."
Robinson's teams went 291-103 during his 16 years at Woodbridge and made 13 consecutive Northwestern Region tournament appearances before going 6-15 in his final season. The Vikings have not reached the state tournament since 1993.