As the Lady Colts enter their second season of competition, the upside is that all five starters return with a year’s worth of experience, as well as depth to back them up.
The downside is that they’re still looking for the first victory in program history.
Ryan Long — who took over as coach in the offseason when David Friend retired after a 30-year career in high school education and athletics — is looking for his team’s personality to take shape as it continues the quest for that first win.
“My job right now is to identify what their roles are on offense,” said the 29-year-old Long, a 2002 graduate of Murray County High who was Coahulla Creek’s boys junior varsity coach last season. “Last year, with being so young, I don’t think they knew their identity. I’m really trying to focus in on that on both the offensive and defensive side.”
Sophomore guard Hannah Locke averaged 6.2 points per game as she led the team in scoring last season, and Long said he expects “great things from her from the outside.” Junior guard Haley Reece is expected to provide solid defense, while sophomore forward Macey Fossett and lone senior Jamie Steadman will provide help on the perimeter.
Freshman Bethany Goodwin and sophomore Ashton Patterson, a transfer from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, will see time at point guard. Junior Allie Thompson and sophomore Maureen Ross will work in the low post. Sydney Storey, a sophomore, will add depth in the backcourt after a strong offseason in which she improved her shot, Long said.
Long hopes the energy his young team has shown in practice carries over to games.
“We’re still young, but experienced,” Long said. “The girls have played one full year on varsity. We’re not wanting to say that youth is a negative ... we don’t even think about their age. We’re just concentrated on doing what we’ve got to do, and that’s going 100 percent. We can’t go 70 or 80 percent, it’s got to be 100 percent at all times. That’s what we’re striving for.”
Coahulla Creek, which has moved from Region 7-2A to 5-3A this year, will open its season Nov. 30 at home against Christian Heritage.