As senior Allie Tellez prepares for her third and final season with the Fort Campbell Lady Falcons basketball team, she looks back on the many changes the team has endured over the seasons.
“Every year since I’ve been here, we’ve gotten a new coach,” she said. “So we’re thrown into new plays and new styles. Coaches have to learn about the players; it just throws everyone off.”
The current season, slated to begin Nov. 27, is no exception. Currently, the roster is rife with new players, and the head coaching reins have passed to Brian Johnson, who transferred to Fort Campbell for a teaching position at Mahaffey Middle School.
However, there are notable differences. The new talent is showing a great deal of promise, and Johnson brings 15 years of coaching experience with him, something players feel has been lacking in seasons past.
“No one’s going to think we’ve got something yet,” said Tellez. “But we’ve got something this year.”
“We’re implementing a lot of new things and trying to work on some strengths,” said Johnson, who has been working with the Lady Falcons since early October. “It’s going really well, and we’re pleased with what we’ve got. We’re seeing improvement every single day.”
With an ample supply of returning players, and talented young players willing to follow their lead, Johnson says the team is not in short supply of strengths.
“We have a very solid defense; our girls are tenacious,” he said. “We’re also very quick on offense. Three of my starters are some of the quickest girls I’ve ever coached, which is a big advantage.”
Another key advantage for the team this year is height, with three girls measuring over 6 feet.
“We have a very tall team this year,” said Johnson.
The coaching staff and players are addressing the team’s shortcomings as well.
“Shooting; we’re still struggling with the shooting,” said Johnson. “My standards are maybe a little higher than other coaches, and I want better results. But we’re working on it every day, and it’s getting better all the time.”
Continuing improvements and skill-building have given the girls the inspiration to predict a bigger and better season against rival district schools.
“We just need to play as a team and try to win as many games as possible,” said senior Brittney Ellis, who is playing with the Lady Falcons for a third and final season.
“I think we’re ready for UHA [University Heights Academy], because we’ve always come so close before,” said Tellez. “I think we’ve got a much better squad this year.”
“A lot of the veteran players have played against these schools and they know what to expect from them,” said Johnson. “They’re in for a big surprise this year.”
Tellez, who ended her first season with the Lady Falcons as the team’s top scorer, plans to use what she’s learned along the way to better not only herself but her teammates as well.
“I need to lead my team to a successful year because we haven’t had one yet,” she said. “It’s my last year, and we just want to go far with it.”
• Nov. 27 – Trigg County, 6 p.m.
• Nov. 29 – at University Heights Academy, 6 p.m.
• Dec. 3 – at Todd County, 6 p.m.
• Dec. 8 – Dawson Springs, 6 p.m.
• Dec. 14 – Hopkinsville, 6 p.m.
• Dec. 17 – Ohio County; 6 p.m.
• Dec. 18 – Caldwell County, 6 p.m.
• Dec. 21-22 – Tournament at Hopkins County Central
• Jan. 5 – Hopkins County Central; 6 p.m.
• Jan. 10 – Christian County, 6 p.m.
• Jan. 14 – at Hopkins County Central, 6 p.m.
• Jan. 15 – at Dawson Springs, 6 p.m.
• Jan. 25 – at Crittenden County, 6 p.m.
• Jan. 26 – Hopkinsville, 6 p.m.
• Feb. 1 – UHA, 6 p.m.
• Feb. 4 – Russellville, 6 p.m.
• Feb. 7 – Christian County; 6 p.m.
• Feb. 8 – at Madisonville, 6 p.m.
• Feb. 9 – at Logan County, 6 p.m.
• Feb. 11 – Todd County, 6 p.m.
• Feb. 14 – at Trigg County, 6 p.m.