Thomley, Whitaker share friendly rivalry on the court

Thomley, Whitaker share friendly rivalry on the court
Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 9:04 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - You’d never know it by talking to them, but Colby Thomely and Scott Whitaker are competitors on the court.

“I just asked him if he wanted to sit down and watch film together to kind of prepare for tomorrow,” said Thomley.

Thomley’s WicksburgPpanthers and Whitaker’s Houston Academy Raiders will meet Saturday with the class 3A Area 3 championship on the line.

“I think it’s a pretty cool thing to get to coach against your mentor,” said Thomley.

“There’s just a comfort factor or lack of comfort factor because it’s him.” said Whitaker. “I still want to win. I’ll feel bad for him later if we can win.”

The history between the two goes back over a decade.

“Whit cut me in the 7th grade off the junior high team,” said Thomley. “I played 8th through 12th grade for Coach Whitaker.”

Thomley a standout on Whitaker’s Wicksburg team for five seasons.

Whitaker said, “I remember having to tell him one time son you are not out here for your looks. So either shoot the ball or get off the court.”

“Whit is just a guy that all his players have a lot of respect for him,” said Thomley

Fast forward to now, the duo getting set to face off for the third time this year.

“We play each other so often,” said Thomley. “We know what they are going to have. They know what we are going to have.”

“They get in certain spots and makes it really hard to guard,” said Whitaker. “If you have to help off one, you’re leaving another one with some time and space and that’s just usually ends up bad for the other team.”

Now despite coaching at Houston Academy, Whitaker and Thomley both teach at Wicksburg. Just another wrinkle in their relationship.

“We’ll leave school about the same time and say good luck, but I don’t really mean it,” said Thomley. “I kind of mean it, but I don’t.”

Saturday will mark the second straight season Wicksburg and HA will face off for the area crown, but no matter what happens on the court, it won’t change what they have off of it.

“Either one of us will say congrats and good luck to you,” said Thomley. “We’ll probably trade a film or two getting ready for sub-regional games on Tuesday.”

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