The Warriors tip the 2012-13 campaign this evening at 7:30 when they play host to Skipstone Academy, and Williams is excited about the group he has this season with three returning starters in sophomores Blake and Wade Mason, along with senior shooting guard James Hughes.
That trio will be complemented by the influx of transfers — sophomore center Kelton Hunt, junior wing Colton Pollard and a talented eighth-grade guard, R.J. Williams.
Coming off two scrimmage games, the OMA coach likes what he's seen so far.
"I'm very optimistic about this season and us being very successful. We have a group of guys that like each other and like playing with each other. They understand that team chemistry is going to be the focus this year. In order to get over the next step, we need everyone on board and not just half the team on board," Lenny Williams said.
Wade Mason earned GISA Class A all-state honors last season as a freshman, averaging a double-double at 16 points and 12 rebounds per contest. His twin brother, Blake, returns as the Warriors' floor leader, and Lenny Williams said the duo will have much to say about the success of the squad this season.
"Yeah, the twins are definitely the cornerstones of this program. I'm not going to sugarcoat that. They're our best overall players. When they go, we go," Lenny Williams said.
Of course, the twins will have a strong supporting cast surrounding them, with the team's lone senior, James Hughes, serving as a leader on and off the court.
"He had a great, great preseason. He had a great summer from the two guard position. He's shooting the ball very well and he's also defending very well," Lenny Williams said. "In the first scrimmage, he had 10 rebounds and in the second scrimmage he had six rebounds. If we can get that out of him — and he's been scoring in double figures — I like our chances for the region championship and even going deeper in state."
Lenny Williams has also been encouraged by the play from his three transfers over the summer and into preseason workouts, noting that Pollard brings an inside-outside presence, while Hunt is solid in the paint. R.J. Williams — no relation to the OMA coach — may have the biggest upside of all of them by the time all is said and done.
"You're saying, 'Well, he's an eighth-grader,' but the other night, he didn't show it," Lenny Williams said of the 6-foot-1 guard's play in the scrimmage victory the other evening.
Lenny Williams is hopeful that his team's strong chemistry will net positive results on the court and make the 2012-13 season a special one.
OMA, which fell in the opening round of the state playoffs last season, will get an early-season treat when they get to play at Philips Arena in Atlanta — home of the Atlanta Hawks — on Wednesday, Nov. 28, against Praise Academy.
And come the end of the year, the Warriors are hoping to be back, making a run in the Class A state playoffs.
"You know, a couple of teams moved back down and a couple of teams moved up, but we'll still be OK," Lenny Williams said. "Like I've said, we're fighting for a region championship. But it's one game at a time, right? And that's our focus. One game at a time, team chemistry and having fun this year. These guys are having fun. You can see by their performance, their play and we're defending. We have to play defense in order to be successful."