Greyhounds Ready to Run.
J. C. Tilton
Numbers are down at Dixie this season, but enthusiasm is up. Pay to play has hurt participation in the girls basketball program. It costs $285 per sport, and I later found out from coach May that many of these players are three sport athletes. So this is a financial drain for any family. At the time that this goes to press, the team has 14 girls playing in total - that is the total between both Junior Varsity and Varsity teams. So the line ups will be lean. They will be playing under first year varsity coach Erin May. It is not an entirely new situation since Coach May was last year's JV coach, so she has familiarity with the players. I recall watching the JV's play last season and commented on how the girls and coaches always seem to have fun on the court. The coach was successful last year and had fun doing it - hopefully they can carry this tradition on to the varsity level.
The team returns Megan Milliken, Randi Bargo, and Sarah Kellhoffer. Seniors Abbey Witt and Sarah Kirby will also be a factor. When asked about the season, Coach May said that, “We are going to be a running team. We are really going to push the ball and defense will be our strength.” Next question was areas for improvement, “Mainly the little things, boxing out, knowing our plays, that sort of stuff.” Coach Mays sees the teams to beat as being Brookville and Waynesville. She also believes that Dixie could be a surprise team that could creep into the top of the division.
Senior Ashley Witt was asked about the teams challenges for this season (fellow senior Sarah Kirby was unable to attend practice the day I was there). “We don't have a lot of height, but we have decent team speed. As a team we want to go far both in the league and the tournament. We want to play together as a team, we don't want to argue. We want to work on our plays and get those down”.
The Greyhounds appear to have speed for a running game, but depth will be a problem. The girls will really have to be in excellent shape to play 4 quarters at full tilt. With a short bench the team could run out of gas in the second half. This is not a team that can afford to get anyone in foul trouble. On the other hand the coaches seem to have attention to detail, the short time I was at practice I could see that the coaches were emphasizing the little things that players have to do right. The last positive is intangible - team spirit. The girls and coaches seemed to be enthusiastic about the program and their prospects for the season. That enthusiasm and spirit can be a trump card that overcomes any height disadvantage or fatigue. I don't see this team as one that will get down on itself and I know that they will have fun. Comments:email: Chris Tilton