By JOSH FRYE
After a long, hard-fought road, the Atmore Christian School Rams closed out the 2022 basketball season with a fourth-place finish in the Panhandle Christian Conference Final Four after dropping last Friday, February 18, to L.E.A.D. Academy, 76-39, and West Florida Baptist last Saturday, February 19, 78-62.
With the loss, the Rams not only see the end of their basketball season, but also the end of an era as ACS head coach Tim Battles says goodbye to the school that he has spent over half of his life serving.
“Saturday’s game was bittersweet,” Battles said. “After coaching at ACS for 18 years, you do not really know how to process it. To add, it was also Caeden’s last basketball game that he will probably ever play in.”
During Friday’s game against L.E.A.D., Caeden scored 15 points and during Saturday’s game against West Florida Baptist, Caeden led the Rams in scoring with 24 points. Earlier this season Caeden solidified his spot in school history when he scored over 1,200 career points, the most of any Atmore Christian School player.
During last Friday’s loss against L.E.A.D., Gage Gades held the top scoring spot for the Rams with 16 points, Caeden scored 15, Emmett Battles, Caeden’s younger brother, scored 8 points and Silas Albritton chipped in 2 points.
During last Saturday’s loss against West Florida Baptist, Caeden scored 24 points, Emmett Battles scored 20 points, Titus Dean added 10, Gades contributed 6 points, and Silas Albritton scored 2 points.
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to be one of the best teams in the conference and we did that,” Battles added. “I am so proud of my team and my guys. I am also so proud of my two sons. I am happy to have served the years coaching at Atmore Christian, but I am overjoyed to have been able to have my family beside me the entire time.”Battles added that after Saturday’s game, the feeling of having coached his last game at Atmore Christian has still never really stuck. For the Rams, next season the team will continue to press forward with a new coach and new players who will be forced to fill the shoes of the Battles brothers, Gage Gades and Titus Dean.