Updated Mon, Dec 2, 2013 6:05 pm
The 2013-14 Alexander Lady Spartans are the team to watch this year.
After last season’s several ups and downs, injuries and hard-fought losses, the team looks to have a season that contrasts with that of last year’s.
The experience of their veteran players and the chemistry the team has will only add to their high-tempo, competitive practices, which may just lead them to obtaining a winning record for the year.
After senior Kaylee Koker went down with a knee injury in mid-January of last year, the team was forced to find a way to play as a unit without her. Koker was seen as the decisive player that held the Lady Spartans together, and without her, the team suffered a huge loss offensively.
Coach Hinton knew that Kaylee’s injury impacted the team.
“When Kaylee went down, it was what glued us all together,” said Hinton. “Even with some of the new additions, it’s stayed like that.”
The team’s chemistry only benefited from Kaylee’s injury. This is something that will surely be prevalent in this year’s team.
Senior Chandra Wilson knows this team has a strong bond.
“I think we’re going to have a pretty good season,” said Wilson. “Our chemistry as a team is really good, we mesh this year and I expect a lot of wins.”
Practice makes perfect, and the Lady Spartans have been making sure they practice at a championship level.
Coach Hinton explained the importance of their high-tempo practices.
“We rate our practices at different levels and our highest rating is a championship level practice,” said Hinton. “We try to concentrate every day on giving championship level effort and if we do that, we’re doing things right and we’re going to become better.”
Practicing at a championship level goes hand-in-hand with maintaining a competitive mindset, and this will be what separates the Spartans from their opponents.
“Our number one focus has been competing,” said Hinton. “We want to compete in practice. We feel like if we can get the mindset that everybody has to compete for a position and if everybody competes in every drill, we’re going to make each other better and overall we’re going to be better as a team.”
The hard work the Spartans are putting into their practice will be emulated on the court.
Having five seniors this year and several returners, the team does not lack in experience.
Juniors Ally Malone and Makina Milum have both been playing at the varsity level since their freshman year, so with the amount of experience on this team, leadership is also something they thrive on.
Not only do they have leadership on the court, they have it off of the court as well.
Hinton has been very proud of his players for their academic accomplishments. With Kaylee Koker finishing last season as Academic First Team All-Ohio and Ally Malone receiving an All-Academic award for her cross country season, the girls have set high standards for the team and their academic success.
The Lady Spartans are a new and improved team. With experience, leadership, championship level practices and team chemistry, Alexander is a major competitor for the TVC-Ohio title this year.
“We’re excited to go out and show how much better we’ve gotten,” said Hinton. “That’s all we want—the opportunity.”