By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
If there is one thing that Glencoe High is proud of, it’s the girl’s basketball teams. And the success of that program.
So whatever happened in 2011 is history to be forgotten, just a blip on the old record book.
“If there was a streak to be ended, we ended it last year,” Yellow Jackets coach John Blackwell said. “I believe this year’s team doesn’t want to repeat that. They have one commitment as a team – to play basketball the Glencoe way.”
The Glencoe way is to notch a nice regular season average, a good effort to at least be in the finals of the Eto-wah County Tournament almost every year.
The Jackets went 14-12 last season, and that record in itself was noteworthy.
“We usually finish with a lot bigger winning percentage,” Blackwell said.
This year, however, Blackwell has the luxury of depth, and lots of it.
“I have 11 players that I feel I can trust,” Blackwell said. “That’s good depth for any team.”
The Jackets have a five-girl starting rotation, as six seniors will compete with a lot of sophomores for jobs. There’s also a big sophomore class, so there will be a lot of new faces.
“We have only two juniors,” Blackwell said. “With the larger than normal sophomore class, there are going to be a lot of new faces and a lot of enthusiasm. They’re concentrating on playing ball the Glencoe way. They’re diving after balls.”
Last week, the Yellow Jackets played Spain Park, a ra-ther established member of the 6A bracket, in a “jamboree” game.
“The main thing I noticed was that for every loose ball, there were two or three Glencoe girls in the area,” Blackwell said. “This team has one mission, and that is to restore Glencoe girls basketball to the standards it has set.”
The Yellow Jackets can boast of being in the county finals 14 of Blackwell’s 17 seasons. But he acknowledged that he just kept things rolling.
“You can look at the records all the way back and Glencoe has always been strong in girls basketball,” Blackwell said. “I don’t want anyone to think that I started this. I’m just carrying on a tradition.”
Jordan Sims (5-8) has the starting center position in her sights. And Rebecca Williams (5-6), will be the backup center.
That’s pretty much the way every position is looking.
Hope Gaskin, Laura Poovey, Brennan Ingram and Sarah Wallace are the other four starters.
“I truly think this team has the opportunity to put Glencoe basketball back where it belongs,” Blackwell said.