By Shirley Shuman
Lady Eagles’ head coach Bill Lunceford and junior varsity coach Nate Smarr feel fortunate in having enough players this season for a full varsity and full jv squad. Another big plus for this year’s team is the experience they gain from nine returnees including four senior starters.
Coach Lunceford talked about the level of experience with the seniors. “Our returning seniors are three-year starters, and we have sophomores who played varsity last year. We’re really deep, and that will help us a lot,” he said. The fact that the coaches will work with a nine-player full varsity and an eight-player junior varsity is also a definite positive factor.
The team has some height, according to their coach. “If we look at all 17 players, we have three girls who are close to six feet, with two of them—SkyLynn Abraham and Lila Fitzwater, varsity players. Freshman Rylan Criner gives us height, too,” he noted. Lunceford also sees speed in his players. “For one thing, we have two champion cross country runners,” he said, “along with others who give us speed.”
The four returning senior starters include SkyLynn Abraham, Paxton Conley, Adrian Lunceford, and Erica Nicholson. Another returning starter, Laura Cain, is a junior. Others who saw varsity action are sophomores Bailey Pritt, Lauren Pritt, and Lila Fitzwater. Also returning is junior Teagan Huff, who played as a freshman but was injured last season.
Other returning sophomores who played jv last season are Jaden Foster and Annabelle Shaver. The team also includes senior Kim Cottrel, a newcomer to BCHS basketball. Rounding out the team are five freshmen—Jade Chapman, Rylan Criner, Brooklyn Paletti, Zoey Propst, and Makenna Robinson.
“We have high expectations this year,” Coach Lunceford pointed out, “as we open at Trinity Christian Thursday. I feel this is our biggest game of the season. It is a conference game, and we have never beaten them.” The coach added, “We have taken our lumps the last two seasons. Hopefully, this season will turn out differently.”
Editor’s Note: See additional photos on page 14 courtesy of Janet Six.