Manheim, Pa. — This past weekend Prep Hoops Next was in the gym for the A-Game Fall Shootout which was held at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Manheim, PA. There was a ton of talent present from grades 6th-8th with teams from all over the Mid-Atlantic participating. This article is part two of my 8th Grade Gold Division highlighting some of the top performers with part one being here.
2025 Jacob Cofield | Team Spartans
Still new to the game, there is a lot to like about the future for Cofield. His size is something that stands out right away standing at 6’5″. Right now rebounding is one of his main strengths and he will have an advantage with that against a lot of players right now because of his size. He still has a lot to learn but another positive for him is that he has basketball in his bloodlines which will only help him in the future.
2025 Darnell Dantzler | Cecil Kirk
Dantzler was another player that stood out right away because of his size not exactly because of his height but more his strength. Dantzler who is 5’9″, has a good amount of muscle on him already and uses that to his advantage when going up to fight for rebounds. Dantzler sits down and moves well on defense to stay in front of his man as he has the making of being a reliable defender in the future where he will be able to guard multiple positions. He is scrappy too as he is not afraid to dive on the floor for loose balls and constantly fight for the basketball.
2025 AJ Dybnasta | Expressions Elite
The Expressions Elite program is super-high on Dybnasta and for good reason. Dybnasta is already built with a nice frame and size standing at 6’3″. He is skilled in the low post and displayed some nice soft touch around the rim which allows him to be efficient from that area. He even showed that he can step out to the perimeter and hit some shots with his good looking stroke. Defensively he was impressive where he keeps his hands up and defends nicely without fouling. He also showed that he can protect the rim well. On both ends of the floor, he is constantly involved and is looking to be a double-double machine at the high school level.
2025 Rondel “RJ” Jones | Team Impact
Right now Jones plays as the ultimate swiss army knife for Team Impact as he can contribute in a variety of ways on both ends of the floor. The first thing that stands out about Jones is his speed and size standing at 5’11. He uses his speed well to get out and push the ball up the floor and has success on finishing in transition. There was one play where he showed off a beautiful spin move in transition that helped him separate himself from the defender and finish with a layup. He has good athleticism and versatility that allows him to rebound the basketball out of his position.
Travis Upchurch | Expressions Elite
One of my favorite players from the event was Upchurch who currently stands at 5’11”. Upchurch has good strength for his age and plays with a high basketball IQ. When Upchurch has the ball in his hands he is constantly keeping his head up while trying to make a play. He is completely wired when he is handling the ball and plays with a tight handle that allows him not to turnover the ball a lot. Defensively, he is the real deal too. He was definitely one of the best on-ball defenders I saw from the 2025 class and follows the ball and his man with good footwork. Upchurch is a prospect from the 2025 class trending in the upward position.