Lincoln Charter’s Andrew Howard has waited his turn.The 6-foot-7 junior forward earned a backup spot on last year’s 31-4 Davidson Day team, the NCISAA 2A state runners-up.When Howard transferred to Lincoln Charter, a team that had won 23 games in the past three years, he figured he might have to wait again, not only for his chance to shine, but also for the Eagles to become consistent winners.But Howard, 17, made people take notice of his team and himself. He had 19 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks and four steals in his first game as an Eagle, a 65-59 loss to Cherryville. The team is off to its best start in school history at 16-5 (5-0 in Piedmont Charter Athletic Conference play).“When I came over here, my goal was to try to help this team get better,” Howard said. “But I don’t know if any of us expected to have this much success. It feels great to be a part of this team with so many great guys. It feels great to be able to help these guys win games.”Lincoln Charter basketball coach Jamie Seitz, who has been building the program for the last four years, is equally excited. The Eagles have already clinched its first league title with a 70-41 rout of Mint Hill’s Queens Grant.Seitz has been able to blend in newcomers like Howard and fellow Davidson Day transfer Miles Boone, a junior forward, with three-year veterans Hunter Dodson, Chase Eklund, Riley Harbor, Steven George and Christian Hilty.“My kids never stopped playing hard or working in practice, no matter what our record was in the past,” Seitz said. “It’s nice to not only see smiles on their faces but to see us winning games against the same teams we’ve lost to in the past.”Howard has played a major role in his team’s success, averaging 17 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks per game.Howard hasn’t shied away from the Eagles’ biggest competition. He had 22 points and 14 rebounds in a close loss to East Lincoln and exploded for 23 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks in Lincoln Charter’s 82-78 win in a rematch against Cherryville, the program’s first over a public school. “Andrew is one of the first people in the gym, every day,” Seitz said. “And you have to kick him out after practice. But he’s not just about himself, he is about winning. If he scores two points and we win, he’s happy. And if he scores 40 points and we win, he’s still happy.”Howard has also earned his teammates’ and coaches’ respect, being named one of the team’s three captains alongside Harbor and Dodson.While Howard has had a lot of success this season, he still has a lot of work if we wants to reach him goal of becoming a Division I college basketball player.He’s trying to expand everything from his ball-handling to his outside shot, while playing positions from small forward to center.Howard says he has gotten interest from schools like Duquesne, Gardner Webb, Newberry College and Bob Jones University but knows it’s still early.For now, Howard is focused on extending the Eagles’ season as much as possible.Entering the PCAC tournament, which will be held Feb. 12-15 at Community School of Davidson, Lincoln Charter hopes to have a strong week and qualify for its first 1A state tournament.“We are finally peaking as team and playing our best basketball,” Seitz said. “You get that feeling, that you don’t want the season to ever end.”
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013
Eagles’ junior forward makes teams take notice
Lincoln Charter is off to best start ever
Junior transfer Andrew Howard has been a welcomed addition to the Eagles. He averages 17 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks per game. COURTESY OF JAMIE SEITZ
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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