Eastern District coaching carousel continues

Staff Report

Recently, longtime Booker T head coach Darren Sanderlin announced his decision to accept the same position at Kempsville. Lake Taylor was also in the running for a new boys basketball coach following the retirement of former coach Kenneth Brown who led the school to a state championship in 2017.

Both schools have filled those vacancies with familiar names in the Norfolk community. Booker T moved first with the hiring of Levi Wall, a former Mighty Booker who most recently served as the Norview junior varsity head coach.

The Titans made the decision to hire from within, promoting assistant coach Derek “Yogi” Edwards to varsity head coach. Both moves were met with much acclaim from the area. The Eastern District has seemingly gotten a lot younger in recent years with the hires of Brown, Wall and Maury head coach Brandon Plummer who led the Commodores to a state championship this past season.

Neither Wall or Edwards are strangers to the rigorous Eastern District schedule. Both have competed and coached in arguably the toughest district in South Hampton Roads, which has produced a state champion on the boys side in two of the past three seasons.

While Lake Taylor fell just one win shy of a Group 4 state championship appearance last season, Wall will take over a much different situation at Booker T, which graduated last year’s top scorer Journey Al-Amin and has been hit by a stalemate in talent in recent seasons. To say the cupboard is bare might be an understatement.

Conversely, Edwards will welcome back South Hampton Roads leading scorer Zyrail Mitchell, a first-team All-State selection and Class 4A Region Player of the Year last season. The Titans also return rising junior Kyrese Mullen, who was a huge addition to the starting lineup in the second half of the 2018-19 season.

Stay tuned for the next segment of the I-64 Sports podcast airing this week, as we feature Coach Edwards and his predecessor, Coach Brown.

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