In just their second full season, the Glenn boys’ basketball team isn’t afraid to show off their swagger.
With four wins through five games, the Grizzlies have already matched their win total from last season. They’re 4-0 at home, including a 65-52 win against Cedar Creek, while their only loss was on the road against Brentwood Christian.
“You have to play with a certain type of swagger,” head coach Byron Harkless said. “When the other team steps in your gym, they’ve got to know it’s your house. We’ve been playing with that swagger and intensity.”
The first win in school history was last year on Dec. 8 against Faith Academy of Marble Falls. Glenn won another non-district game against Goldthwaite and picked up two district wins against Llano.
This season, Glenn has scored at least 55 points in all five of its games, and the road loss to Brentwood Christian was by just three points.
“Our mindset and playing against other teams (has changed),” said Sam Martin, junior. “Like how we go into the games. Last year we were scared going into the games. Now we’ve got more confidence built up.”
Glenn opened before the 2016-17 school year and included freshmen and sophomores from Leander and Rouse. The Grizzlies play in District 19-4A this season and will be Class 5A when schools realign before next year.
Martin said he chose to come to Glenn over Rouse because he wanted to build something new and be a part of the first class. His goals as a team are to make the playoffs and individually, he wants to at least make the all-district team.
Harkless said the boys have grown up. Last year they were freshmen and sophomores going against juniors and seniors so the year of work in the weight room and on conditioning has played a big role in the boost in play on the court.
“The good thing is you get to have the same team for three years,” he said. “You can see the difference. Just having that junior class and having that experience, it’s totally different. They aren’t scared anymore when they hit the court.”
Harkless still wears his state championship ring from his time in East Texas at Tatum, where he played and won a state title in football and was one game away from making it to the state tournament in basketball.
His first coaching job came in Del Valle ISD with the 8th-grade team. From there, he moved to Connally and served as an assistant basketball coach and head cross country coach for the Cougars.
“I got my first chance here to be a head coach and I’m happy to have my own system to start a program from scratch and have my hands on it from the ground up,” Harkless said.
Glenn is on the road for tournaments over the next few weeks, playing in one at Little River Academy near Temple beginning on Thursday and heading to Lago Vista on Dec. 7. The next time the Grizzlies are at home is Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. against Austin Royals Home School.
The Glenn volleyball team already took the title of the first team to make the playoffs from the school. Harkless wants to take that a step further.
“My goals are to just be better than last year and at this point we already are,” he said. “I’m pleased with our progress and now we want to get to the playoffs and win the first playoff game in school history. I want to establish a culture of winning.”