JEFFERSON has its share of skilled underclassmen and has showcased that talent this summer in prepping for the 2014-2015 season.
The team wrapped up its summer slate last week, playing three sophomores and two freshmen quite regularly during its May and June scrimmage schedule.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces that we’re kind of trying to work in,” coach Jason Gibson said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids that are contributing a lot.”
Two of those young faces aren’t that new but were impressive nonetheless.
Abbie Franklin, last year’s leading scorer, and Hope Forrester both stood out during the summer slate after being major contributors in the Lady Dragons’ Elite Eight run last season.
“Abbie and Hope have played outstanding this summer,” coach Gibson said. “They’ve done an outstanding job. They’ve kind of stepped up as some underclassmen leaders. They’ve set the tone, not only in our practices early in the summer season, but throughout the games.”
Gibson said the pair has been a good inside-outside presence for the team.
“And they’ve had a lot of success,” Gibson said. “As they go, we’ve gone. Our team has had a lot of success.”
In addition to Franklin and Forrester, Lauren Waggoner, another sophomore, saw plenty of floor time. Meanwhile, freshmen Mariah Starks and McKenzie Tyner played “a ton of minutes.”
“They’ve both started at some point, and they’ve responded and played extremely well,” Gibson said.
As for the program’s older players, juniors Allison Patrick and Jalerica Smith have both stepped up this summer, while Kaleigh Skelton is a junior “who is working hard,” according to Gibson.
And the coach praised his senior class.
“Our seniors, I can’t talk enough about — Maddie Dills, Jacyln Coleman, Jerilynn Williamson — all three of those ladies are doing fantastic,” Gibson said.
Brittani Boyd, another senior, is coming off ACL surgery and getting back in the mix. The team is missing its other senior, Chandler Bragg, who is on a school trip to Scotland.
“She’ll be a big part of what we do,” Gibson said.
Jefferson’s busy summer schedule included its annual trip to Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. for a summer basketball tournament. There, the team won eight of 10 games against some stout out-of-state competition. “We’re not really concerned about wins and losses in the summer, but we competed really well with those teams,” Gibson said.
The team then returned home last week and hosted several scrimmages in its gym against area teams to cap the summer session.
Gibson said it was a good offseason.
“I’m really pleased with where they are,” Gibson said. “They’re really working hard. It’s a great group of kids, and that really makes it fun.”
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
The author does not allow comments to this entry