By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
Richard Hollingsworth has been at Coosa Christian for only about six weeks, so don’t be surprised if he doesn’t know all the athletes by name as of yet.
The long-time Westbrook Christan boys basketball coach was hired in early October to try and turn around the Conqueror program.
“We’re definitely still getting to know each other,” Hollingsworth said. “I’m starting to learn some about them and they’re starting to learn a little about me.”
Even with the short introduction span, Hollingsworth likes what he sees so far.
“I’m extremely pleased with their work ethic and their sense of responsibility,” he said. “There are also three seniors and a good mix of all the classes. I’m going to get them prepared to the best of my ability.”
The Conquerors went to team camp this summer with 12 players, and six quit that week. So Hollingsworth has had to round his roster with eighth- and ninth-graders, something that should help for a brighter future.
Something else slowing Coosa down is the lack of athletes throughout the school. Every player on the varsity team played football, which only ended two weeks ago.
“I don’t know anything about the teams we’ll be playing or anything like that,” Hollingsworth said. “I’m concentrating on us and on improving as a team.”
Head football coach Van Owens used that same philosophy, and finished the season with four consecutive wins.
“I hope that momentum will carry over into basketball,” Hollingsworth said. “And into everything. I understand that the volleyball and cross country teams had good years. Any type of winning will help the school.”
Already having the Christian school experience helped Hollingsworth decide to take the job, too.
“I come in knowing and understanding the Christian side of the school and the team,” he said. “Christian schools do things a bit differently than public schools.”