Preseason Preview: Caleb Rexroad plans for a repeat historic season

Caleb+Rexroad+flies+in+for+a+layup+in+the+first+quarter+of+the+state+quarterfinals+ve+George+Washington.+After+a+Summer+affected+by+a+pandemic+Caleb+Rexroad+found+new+ways+to+prepare+for+the+upcoming+year.+Photo+courtesy+of+John+Klimavicz.

Caleb Rexroad flies in for a layup in the first quarter of the state quarterfinals ve George Washington. After a Summer affected by a pandemic Caleb Rexroad found new ways to prepare for the upcoming year. Photo courtesy of John Klimavicz.

Caleb Rexroad flies in for a layup in the first quarter of the state quarterfinals ve George Washington. After a Summer affected by a pandemic Caleb Rexroad found new ways to prepare for the upcoming year. Photo courtesy of John Klimavicz.

Senior Guard Caleb Rexroad was coming off one of the then-Raiders’ best seasons ever. He helped the team reach the state quarterfinals while earning all conference honors just before Loudoun County Public Schools closed to in-person learning, and before VHSL made the decision to cancel spring sports.

The team ended with a historic season as they won the district championship and performed well in the state playoffs. Rexroad credits some of the team’s performance to Loudoun County’s student section, ranked No. 1 in the district. Not only did the student section hype up the team, they also got in the visiting team’s heads and threw them off their game.

“We do feed off the crowd and had the best student section last year,” Rexroad said. “This season will be very different from last year because there won’t be the same atmosphere as if there were fans there. We are practicing locking in and not focusing on no fans or fans. We will need to feed off each other since there won’t be a crowd.”

Many basketball players have resorted to paying to play travel over the summer to fulfill their basketball cravings. Rexroad and fellow senior forward Nate Brown are no exception.

“This summer I played on a team with Nate Brown and we were on a prep team that went to many tournaments to further our college recruitment process,” Rexroad said. “The biggest tournament we played in was a National Tournament in Myrtle Beach. We also went up to Philadelphia and went undefeated there.”

Rexroad hopes to channel his summer experience into the upcoming season. The Captains lost many seniors that were key parts in their scheme on offence and on defence. This season County will have to lean on the rising juniors to contribute more to the team. Some of the juniors have had varsity experience and some haven’t yet.

“Last year the seniors were a big part of our success,” Rexroad said. “We have a solid core of guys coming back. Between the returning starters and the experience of some of the juniors, we are all excited for this season. I believe that the juniors are all ready to step up.”

Rexroad expects big things this season. He also hopes the County team can ride off the accomplishments of last season and have a great year no matter how long the season is,

“I expect to grow a lot as a player,” Rexroad said. “ I mean, we had two of the best offensive players in potentially the state in Matt Anderson and Mark Siegal last year. I was kind of that third option, which I accepted because we had those two guys. But this year I really expect to make a pretty big jump, and hopefully All Conferences which I definitely want to get again. But even All Region and All States. I’m looking to go up into those tiers even with the shortened season.”

Rexroad is a hard worker. In a non-COVID-19 year he would have been working with his trainer four or five times a week. He would have been lifting and playing pickup with friends nearly everyday. He also would have had travel games every weekend. However when the pandemic hit he had to change up his approach to training.

“I worked hard in the offseason on strength, conditioning and getting my weight up. I ended last season at 158 pounds and during this quarantine have gotten myself up to 170 pounds,” Rexroad said. “My basketball workouts consisted of stationary shots and doing every drill 100% as if I was in an actual game.”

The first few months after school shut down, Rexroad spent time shooting in his driveway. “ I would just go outside and work on set shots and dribbling a heavy ball,” he said. “Just trying to improve my form a little bit from last year to this year.”

To condition, Rexroad frequently ran at six every morning, followed by pushups, situps, and pull ups. “It was all basically bodyweight stuff …as much as I could get in,” Rexroad said.

It’s no wonder Rexroad is so dedicated even during the pandemic. His passion for basketball started at an early age.

“I started playing basketball when I was about three or four,” said Rexroad, whose father played in college and introduced him to the game. I played upward for a couple of years and when I first started I wasn’t that into basketball. As a child I was more into baseball until I went to middle school and then I got tired of baseball.”

Once Rexroad hit middle school he started to focus on baseball and continued to work on his game.

“I started to focus more on basketball and training four to five days a week,” Rexroad said. “This was the point in my life where I fell in love with basketball. This is where I also started to see some development in my game.”

Rexroad came into high school with high hopes of playing basketball. He had a great tryout and was able to make it on varsity as a freshman, which was a huge accomplishment for him.

“When I got onto varsity as a freshman that is when I figured out that I had decent abilities in basketball,” Rexroad said.Though he didn’t play much as a freshman, he played more as the years progressed.  “Then, last year was my best year as I made All Conference for the first time,” Rexroad said.

Although the team has changed a lot over the course of his time at County, they will still have the same goal in mind, playing at a high level and making another state playoff run.

“This season even with all the changes in players and all the new juniors joining the team I believe that County basketball is here to stay and we will make a good run for the playoffs again,” Rexroad said.

Check out the Captain’s Chronicle podcast featuring Caleb Rexroad: