Union Grove Basketball hosts Hampton (2).jpg (copy) (copy)

Union Grove High School has been a silently rising team this year and is right in line with what Jarvis Tarplin wants.

McDONOUGH — Union Grove High has been steadily putting together a big season and part of the reason why is due to their team’s makeup.

The Wolverines are without any real big names taking their court like other programs in the county. But they’re hanging around in the top four with a chance to possibly make the playoffs and it’s been good.

Considering how Union Grove’s a proven winner on the court under Jarvis Tarplin the Wolverines have come together quite nicely in 2019-20. There was a six-game win streak and the Wolverines have their own destiny in hand in the final month of the regular season.

“We’re fine, we’re getting there. I always tell them it’s not about how you start the year it’s about how much you progress in it, how you climb up the ladder,” Tarplin said. “When the tournament comes, we want to be playing our best. We don’t want to be playing our best in the first game of the season.”

Even with a team of predominantly seniors, Tarplin’s team just keeps pushing forward. However, there’s no concern of load management with the Wolverines as they’re content with what they have on the court each game.

A name that comes up first would be Chase Gammage but beyond that, Union Grove’s got seven other seniors to lean on like Cameron Chapman.

Of those who stepped up for the Wolverines this year, there are many. And the question of who, doesn’t just relate to one or two guys, but the Wolverines are thriving from the entire lineup.

“I could say something like that of every single kid,” Tarplin said.

With teams in Henry County getting better the tie to it almost always points to the junior varsity level. And for Tarplin, who’s looking at the future of his program week in and week out, that’s a good thing.

Considering the junior varsity runs the same system as the varsity team does, it helps him evaluate the future.

“That’s very important to me,” Tarplin said. “It gets the guys ready to run everything that you’re running. They’ve been running it for however many years that they’re on JV. You also get a chance to, for me, do a whole year of evaluation as far as getting to the varsity level. So, it’s very important.”

On one hand, keeping confidence up for the Wolverines is rather easy. Many aren’t looking at going to college for playing basketball, which is fine for him as he talks to the seniors individually.

“Believe it or not, there’s a lot of kids that don’t want to play college ball,” Tarplin said. “They realize it’s a full-time job. You’re getting up at five in the morning, working out at all crazy times and having to deal with school — having to go to study hall, it’s a full-time job. Some kids don’t want that.”

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Sports Editor

Graduated from South Carolina State University in 2015. Been with the Henry Herald and Clayton News in two capacities as a sports journalist and interim sports editor.

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