After spending just a few minutes with Justin Cofer, it becomes apparent that the senior carries plenty of positive vibes.
It's that upbeat mindset the Greenbrier High School point guard uses to lead the Wolfpack on the basketball court.
"A lot of people will talk down to someone when they do something wrong. They get on them," Cofer said. "I'm not like that at all. People on the team will tell you I'm kind of like the nice guy. ... I'm going to pick you up."
The Wolfpack's balance is exemplified by the quick, unselfish point guard and Dejon Britton's post presence and awareness around the basket.
Cofer averaged around 10 assists last season while scoring roughly nine points a game. Coach Casey Heckathorn stressed that it doesn't mean he can't put up big scoring numbers when his team needs it, as he did in scoring 25 points against Stephenson last season.
Britton was a double-double machine last season when Greenbrier played in Class AAAAA. He averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game and provided a defensive presence despite consistently facing bigger opponents.
"Dejon is explosive. We play him at the post just because we don't have a lot of big kids. We list him at 6-foot-3, but that might include his flat top," Heckathorn said. "He plays a lot bigger than that. He's able to defend 6-6, 6-7 if he has to. ... He has a knack for being around the rim."
Cofer and Britton were named to the Region 2-AAAAA All-Region team last season.
The two are part of a senior-laden group that moves back down to Class AAAA this season. Chad Waddell provides a 3-point threat, and Trey Lawhorn adds quickness while playing shooting guard or small forward. All told, Greenbrier returns four of five starters.
Not satisfied with the experience of having played some of the state's top teams in Class AAAAA, Heckathorn took his team to two camps this summer. There, the Wolfpack played opposite top-level programs such as Keenan and Gaffney, from South Carolina, and LeBron James' high school, St. Vincent-St. Mary of Akron, Ohio.
Heckathorn hopes the experience will help the Wolfpack win the tight games they lost last season, leading to a 14-16 record.
"We got really pushed this summer, and I think that's going to pay off because our kids see what it's going to take," he said. "I couldn't ask for a better situation to prepare them for this year."
Britton agreed. He said playing top competition simply intensified his will to get better.
"It was great; a great experience," he said. "Now I know that I need to improve."
The coach said he has tremendous depth at his disposal this season, with eight to 10 players who could see significant time.
The combination of senior leadership and depth has Cofer thinking big.
"State," he said. "We've been talking about it since freshman year. Our freshman and sophomore year, we kind of lost early. We were supposed to go a little (further).
"Now, it's all the way. It's our last year."
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