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Jamestown’s new boys basketball coach is hoping to help the Eagles soar to new heights.
On Tuesday, Donovan Bridgeforth was approved as the new head boys basketball coach at Jamestown High by the Williamsburg-James City County School Board.
Bridgeforth spent the past two years as the head coach of the Williamsburg Christian Academy girls basketball team, which he led to back-to-back appearances in Virginia Independent Schools Athletics Association state championship games.
The decision to move on from WCA was somewhat unexpected for Bridgeforth, who said he was “content” coaching the girls at WCA and was not looking for a new job.
“I just think truly and honestly God works in mysterious ways,” said Bridgeforth, who attended Jamestown High for two years as a student. “I was really content with coaching at Williamsburg Christian Academy this upcoming season. [The position] just kind of popped up. I really like the challenge at Jamestown with the new conference they will be in.”
Taking over the Jamestown boys basketball team will be a far cry from the situation Bridgeforth found himself in at WCA. The Jamestown boys team finished last season with a 10-12 record and will have to compete against one of the best basketball teams in the area, Grafton, in Virginia High School League’s Group 4A South’s Conference 19.
However, the Eagles will lose only one player from last year’s roster and return key contributors such as Connor Swain and Mason Wang, both of whom were All-Conference 19 players last season.
Bridgeforth, who will also teach special education at Jamestown, said his “championship mentality” will be a major part of changing the culture of Jamestown basketball. And despite transitioning from coaching girls at a private school to boys at a public school, Bridgeforth does not expect many changes from his time at WCA.
“We’re going to do the same things we did at WCA, where everybody is working and pushing each other to meet new goals and to max out their potential,” he said. “The biggest thing is creating a working culture and winning environment. I’m just going to try to create champions.”
Bridgeforth’s winning mindset was one of the biggest selling points for new Jamestown Athletic Director Kenneth Edwards, who told Bridgeforth point-blank, “You’ve been a winner everywhere you go. That’s what we need at Jamestown.”
Excited to get to work as the new head coach, Bridgeforth said he is not concerned about setting expectations for the upcoming season, instead choosing to place an emphasis on hard work and player development.
Before Bridgeforth moves forward with his new career, he took a moment to give thanks to the players and families at WCA who he worked with over the past two seasons.
“I would like to say thank you to all the families and girls for all their hard work those two years at WCA,” he said. “I wouldn’t be anywhere without the hard work they did for me.”