Kim Chambers sat in the bleachers at Harlem High School's gym, watching his boys basketball team run sprints.
He was trying to answer questions about the Bulldogs' upcoming season, but he couldn't help looking ahead.
"Basically, what I'm doing is coaching Grovetown's team this year," Chambers said jokingly.
Chambers counted two of his 16 varsity players who could be back next season. The rest will move to Grovetown High School when it opens next fall. Chambers said he thought only one of 11 junior varsity players would return.
The Bulldogs won one game after the Christmas break last year. They'll make the move this year to Region 3-AAAA, a strong hoops region.
Chambers is trying to keep his team focused on what it can control.
"The best thing is, I got the kids out here that want to be out here," Chambers said. "They're working pretty hard. I'd like to see them work a little bit harder."
The Bulldogs open with Aquinas at home Friday before traveling to Glenn Hills, last year's Class AAA champion before being bumped up.
Chambers said he watched the Irish scrimmage Evans earlier in the month and came away feeling his team might not be prepared.
He said his team needs to win the close games when it has the chance, something it wasn't able to do much last year.
The most memorable example was an 82-81 loss to Cross Creek in overtime.
"They know what they're supposed to do," Chambers said. "It's whether we can make the free throw instead of missing it."
Chambers said he would try to use the press to slow opposing teams pushing up the floor.
Harlem competed with other area teams, including many of its new region opponents, during summer league games this year.
Harlem guard Joseph Deuber said the Bulldogs did OK during the summer, but that the Bulldogs' success will depend on how they mature in practice.
"We just got to work harder," Deuber said. "I think if we work hard enough and we play together, we should be able to compete."
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