OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Futral

Codie Futral
Staff Writer

It might have taken some time for the Starkville Academy Volunteers to get going with their 2016-17 basketball squad this season, but they’re getting there.
The Vols are playing their best basketball of the season and are fresh off of clinching their second-straight regular season Class AAA, District 2 championship and head to this weekend’s tournament at Leake Academy as the No. 1 seed. The seniors are to thank for helping build the chemistry of the team behind Bruce Allsup’s coaching.
With Reid Stevens and Carter Roach, Codie Futral has been leading the charge and his past week has helped the Vols (15-10) build toward a championship run. In his three games against Leake, Baldwyn and Indianola Academy, Futral averaged 19.3 points per game earning himself the distinction of OCH Regional Health Center Athlete of the Week.
A win over Leake that clinched the district and senior night victory over Indianola were more important to him than the numbers, though.
“We got first place in our division and that was a special moment," Futral said. "It’s our second year in a row to win district, then to come here and get a win on our home floor was amazing.”
The senior night win came against the defending Class AAA champions of Indianola and the Vols had to fight from behind on several occasions to do it. Monday’s 49-46 thrilling win saw Futral put up a game-high 21 points and pull down eight rebounds on 8-of-17 shooting.
After losing to the Colonels once this year, Futral and his teammates knew that the battle would be tough. They were going to do everything they could to ensure that their final home game wasn’t a loss, however.
“We knew that we had to play extra hard because we went up there and they beat us pretty bad,” Futral said. “We knew that we had to protect our home court and that’s what we did.”
The key for Futral on Monday was his aggressive drive to get to the basket. That’s one area that Allsup has wanted to see Futral attack more as the senior has become lethal over the years when he gets to the hoop.
“Codie has a lot of athleticism and a lot of skills," Allsup said. "We want him to get to the rim more because he likes to settle for that 3-pointer a little more than our liking. (Against Indianola), he started getting to the rim in the second half and that was a big part of our game.”
In addition to his big game on Monday, Futral had 21 points last week on the road at Madden against rival Leake and another 16 against a Class 2A public school in Baldwyn in a hard-fought loss.
Futral has proven he can do it against some of the best teams in the state and now he and his teammates are looking to continue that trend over the next few weeks of a potential tournament run. So far, he feels his senior year has been a success, but there’s more to go.
“I think I’ve done pretty good, but I want to step it up the last few days and win a ring,” Futral said. “We’ve got to play harder and better defense. That’s what coach Allsup preaches and that’s the key. Defense wins games.”