Kyle Morgan, who assumed head coaching duties for the Lady Wildcats last summer when Colman Roberts stepped down, said the team’s goal is to qualify for what would be the second state playoff berth in the school’s history.
He said the goal will be difficult to reach.
“The region is very tough and there are no easy games,” Morgan said. “We will have to show up and give our best effort mentally and physically each possession to have a chance to win games.”
Morgan is quite familiar with that region as he is the former head coach of the Woodland girls soccer team,
Woodland has seven seniors: Brooke Hummel, Ayrianna Metcalf, Marissa Dubose, Katie Harris, Carly Bucy, Katie Cheek and Idraiah Thompson.
Hummel was a big part of the team’s success as the all-county guard averaged six points per outing, 2.7 steals and 2.5 assists. She also handled the ball late for the Lady Wildcats, often scoring more from the charity line than as a shooter.
Dubose, the team’s other returning all-county player, also was a major contributor as she dropped in 8.5 points and grabbed 8.2 rebounds. She also was a defensive standout with 2.1 blocked shots and 1.7 steals.
Morgan will be looking to both to step up their games.
Woodland isn’t exclusively seniors, however, and includes two juniors, Sydney Boyd and Aubri Branch, and three sophomores, Me Me Richardson, Hayley Roberson and Gabby Bradley.
Morgan said they have potential, too.
“All 12 of these players are capable of earning playing time each game,” he said. “We will be relying on our seniors to lead by example. Of the 12 players listed, eight earned playing time on the varsity last year, some more than others.”
He also praised their progress since his arrival.
“We have a good group of young ladies who have committed a lot of time to improving in the offseason,” he said. “They have done everything we have asked of them. They are becoming more of one unit each day.”
He said the team is focused on playing to the best of its ability.
“The 2012-13 team went 10-17, winning three games in region play,” he said. “We hope to improve on that record and finish in the top four in the region to earn a state playoff berth.”
He said he expects the Lady Wildcats will use a system that should be fun to watch and help them be successful.
“We hope to play an uptempo, selfless brand of basketball which is enjoyable to watch and fun to play,” he said. “In order to play this style of basketball we will have to improve our overall team fitness, play excellent team defense, rebound, take care and share the ball ensuring a good/great shot each time down the floor.
“We hope to play at a pace that makes the other team uncomfortable. We are currently a work in progress. If we can stay healthy, play as a team and improve each time we step on the floor (practice and/or game) we should have a chance of achieving our goal(s) by the end of the season.”
He noted that season is about to start.
“We are looking forward to the season,” he said. “We open the season versus region opponent New Manchester on Friday at 6 p.m. at home. It will also be middle school night where we hope to announce the feeder program teams at halftime (future WHS players).
“We hope this is a team the Woodland community can be proud of and support.”