In 2010, Anthony Hall inherited a boys' basketball program at New Hope Academy in York City that had just enough players for a varsity squad.
Three years later, the Mighty Ants have enough players for junior high (seventh and eighth grades), junior varsity and varsity teams.
"Our first year I think we had 13 or 14 (high school) players. Last year we started off with 25. It was nice numbers to have," Hall said.
Growth is a suitable term right now for New Hope athletics. It's certainly on the mind of Hall, who is stepping aside as the New Hope boys' coach to take on additional responsibilities as a high school administrator. He also wants to add new athletic programs at New Hope in the coming years.
"Right now I'm surveying our students and trying to find out where the excitement might be as far as what the student body is looking for," Hall said.
New Hope currently offers just basketball for boys and girls at both junior high and high school levels.
Basketball: David Archer and Terrance Clark have both grown as coaches over the years and will aim to use that knowledge at New Hope next season.
Archer will take over for Hall as the New Hope boys' coach, while Clark is replacing girls' coach Brandon DeShields. Hall and DeShields each coached the New Hope teams the last three seasons.
Archer, 34, brings 16 years of coaching experience to the Mighty Ants, having served as an assistant on boys' teams at Harrisburg High School, Bishop McDevitt High School and Penn State Harrisburg until landing a head coaching gig at Pine Grove High School (District 11), where he has spent the last four seasons, compiling a 65-28 overall record and winning the District 11 Class AA title in 2012.
He inherits a New Hope program that returns just one starter, rising sophomore Montel Morgan, from last year's squad that earned a third-place finish in the PIAA District 3-A Tournament and a berth in the state tournament. The Mighty Ants are two years removed from being the District 3-A runner-up. They went 46-24 overall in three seasons under Hall.
Like many others, coaching is about more than just winning games to Archer.
"Growing up in Harrisburg, I've watched so many kids not understand the game of basketball," Archer said. "They play basketball and they shot shots, they made lay-ups and won championships, but in the long run they didn't do all they could to market themselves to colleges and universities."
Archer wants his players to grow on the court and in the classroom.
"I always want to be involved with the program and teaching kids the importance about SAT preparation and grades," he said.
Clark, a 1990 Harrisburg grad who has spent the last nine years as an assistant with the Harrisburg girls' team, feels the same.
"I heard a lot of things about the program and how they were young and were going through a hard time," Clark said. "As a coach, I'm all about helping kids develop from the bottom up."
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.