By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
Ryan Fore refuses to call it a rebuilding year, but that is what Etowah’s girls basketball team is facing.
The Blue Devils graduated five seniors, including four starters and the top three leading scorers off last season’s squad.
“I don’t like the term ‘rebuilding year’,” Fore said. “I’ll call it a learning year because we have a lot of talent; we’re just very young.”
Etowah is sophomore-heavy this year, with only one senior starting.
That senior is Haley Hyde, who came off the bench last season, mainly to play shooting guard. This year, she is the starting point guard.
“(Hyde) is a very athletic player,” Fore said. “She’s just got to get used to the mentality of playing point. Her development will be key for us as the season progresses.”
Two sophomores – Brooke Perry and Maelin Trammell – are two of the players on which Fore relies on.
Perry, who started last season, is a double-digit scorer as well as the Blue Devils’ leading rebounder.
Trammell is a slasher who can also shoot and play post.
“(Trammell) is big and strong,” Fore said. “She already has the body of a college player – she’s just got to get used to starting. She’s scoring in double digits but is still trying to figure out a lot about the game. That is just from being so young.”
Before being promoted to head coach last season, Fore was the junior varsity coach.
“Already knowing the girls really helped,” he said. “It wasn’t like I took over a team where I didn’t know any of the players.”
So far, the Blue Devils are competitive but coming up just short in the fourth quarter.
“We’re losing games late because of our inexperience,” Fore said. “Hopefully that will be overcome by January. The potential is there for us to have a very good year. We’ve got a lot of solid players. We’ve got good post players and good shooters.”