New defense, new offense and more experience. This is what the middle school girls basketball team brings to the court this year. They tip-off Thursday November 7th at Grace Christian as a part of the Knoxville Independent School League in Division 2. The Lady Blazers are coming off of their first season ever, where they won two games and competed in many others. One of these wins was the first ever home basketball game won at CBA. This year they are looking to take the next step as a program. They have 3 returning starters, led by 8th grade captain, and 2018 All KISL Award Recipient, Sydney Stratton. They also have 5 new players, spanning from 6, 7 and 8th grade. New head coach Grant Redmond explained, "Our theme for the year is to create opportunities, not just take the ones that are given to us. Last year we sat back and waited. This year that is not the case."
Redmond is entering his 5th year as a school coach. He is the Athletic Director at Clayton-Bradley, was the high school boys head coach the previous two years and was the assistant coach for the girls last year. "I am excited to coach these awesome young ladies. It is my first time being a head coach for girls basketball. So far I have really enjoyed it. The only thing I was not prepared for was them asking me if I had hair bands they could use. So, that was definitely different. But, they work very hard, listen well and want to do well. They encourage each other, ask a lot of questions and are excited about the new things they are doing on the court. Boys tend to be more athletic, but they want to do their own thing. What I like about girls middle school basketball is that it is more about the basics. They are really bought in. Every one of them has either stayed after practice or come in at other times for indivual or partner workouts with mysef and our new assistant coach Jayden Ellis," Redmond said.
The biggest change is on the defensive side of the floor. The team has been working on a new defense that has more pressure and makes the offense work, sticking with the theme of creating opportunities. "We are stretching them with the new defense that we are doing. But, we believe that they can be successful in it," Redmond declared. "Come out and cheer on these hard working girls. Help us create oppotunities. They will be fun to watch."
Go Lady Blazers!