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Bulldogs News · Despite tough schedule, Coach Eric Gracia has high expectations for basketball program


Basketball coach Eric Gracia, who assists with the varsity team and coaches the junior varsity team, has high expectations for the boys basketball team this season.

“We had a rough season last year and had to deal with more adversity than one could imagine when going into a new season,” he said in an email recently. “But it’s because of the adversity we faced last season that my expectations are even higher this year. I believe we have a good group of kids returning along with some new faces that have bought into Coach [Jeremy] Mason and myself and it is starting to show.”

The Bulldogs have a challenging schedule this season, opening against Carrollton Creekview at 8 p.m. Friday at Cobb Field House. Frisco Reedy follows at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, also at Cobb Field House. North Dallas plays at Skyline on Nov. 21, and at Greenhill on Dec. 15. The Bulldogs open District 12-5A play against Woodrow Wilson on Dec. 21 at Cobb Field House.

Coach Jeremy Mason explains the play to Jamel Heard.
Coach Jeremy Mason explains the play to Jamel Heard as coach Eric Gracia talks to another player.

 

“The schedule is similar to what we had last year,” North Dallas varsity coach Jeremy Mason said. “It’s very challenging in pre-district but again, once you get to district, you’re feel like you’re going to be able to compete. So we’re excited. A little more optimistic than last year being that we know the guys that are coming in.”

Since North Dallas cannot host games in its gym, the Bulldogs’ home games are at Dallas ISD facilities. Cobb is North Dallas’ primary home gym, and Loos is secondary and there’s also a home game at Sprague Field House.

“We don’t play at home. It is what it is,” Mason said. “We do have more home games than last year.”

North Dallas basketball coaches Jeremy Mason (left), Eric Gracia and Byron Boyd monitor a recent practice in the boys gym. Jason Green watches from his position.
North Dallas basketball coaches Jeremy Mason (left), Eric Gracia and Byron Boyd monitor a recent practice in the boys gym.

 

Gracia believes playing in the Mansfield ISD Holiday Tournament (Nov. 30-Dec. 2) and the Dallas ISD Holiday Invitational (Dec. 27-29) will also help. It’s part of the process in building a program.

“And our freshman will play in SOC tournament over thanksgiving,” Mason said. “So everybody will get a chance to sink their feet into a tournament.”

“I believe these boys are up for the challenge and I’m excited for the opportunity to face some talented teams from the DFW and start making a name for North Dallas basketball,” Gracia said. “We also expect to continue growing the basketball program by having a freshmen team for a second straight year under Coach Boyd where we can allow our younger players to develop.

“Coach Boyd does a great job of teaching the fundamentals of the game, which is critical at the freshmen level. It really makes things easier for us at the JV and Varsity level. We are all looking forward to a great year.”

 

Coach Eric Gracia lets the players know where they should be positioned and what to watch for.
Coach Eric Gracia lets the players, Jamel Heard (left) and Aumarkis Sims (right)  know where they should be positioned and what to watch for.

 

 

Head Coach Jeremy Mason goes over the play with Mathew Baker.
Head Coach Jeremy Mason goes over the play with Mathew Baker.

 

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