CRAWFORD – Senior leadership is one of the factors coach Barnett Robinson is looking for as the East Oktibbeha girls prepare for the 2012-2013 season.
“The girls are going to do real well this season,” Robinson said. “They are a senior team that is experienced and I feel that gives us a real advantage. I really feel that we will be competitive in every game and have the potential to win them all.”
Robinson says he is counting on players like Lydia Stevenson, Savannah Blair and Quanisha Doss to step up, do their part and lead the way so the Lady Titans can meet their goal of finishing the season hard.
Stevenson, Blair and Doss will not be on their own when stepping on the court and Robinson is going to ask just as much of the new players as he is of his returning athletes.
“We have quite a few new players,” Robinson said. “It is hard to say right now who is going to make the most impact, because what you see in practice is completely different than what you see in live games. Right now, I am just asking them to give their all.”
The Lady Titan coach may be asking his players to make an impact in all areas, but he especially wants to see them stepping up on defense. To Robinson, defense is what wins ball games, because as he puts it “you can score 100 points, but if you can’t stop the other team from scoring 101, it really defeats the purpose.”
One thing will be different this season for East Oktibbeha. Due to a recent ruling on accreditation by the Mississippi Department of Education, the school will only be allowed to compete in conference games.
That ruling could have taken its toll on the Lady Titans, but according to Robinson, they are simply taking it in stride and still planning on giving their all this season.
“It was tough at first,” said Robinson. “There was talk at first about kids transferring, but in the end, they all stayed. They have decided they want to fight it out for those 12 games and continue to play for their school.”
With the sanctions taking away non-conference games, East Oktibbeha will have a little more time to prepare for their first competition. On Dec. 4, the Lady Titans will face Weir.