Women's Basketball Team Outlook
The 2012-2013 women’s basketball team is coming off a good year having gone 21-9 last season. This year they are looking to continue to build their success while chasing a regional title. This season the Skyhawks have a large hole to fill after losing All-American Shamika Williams. “This year will be more of an all-around team game, “said Head Coach Jedidiah Johnson. “Shamika was the focus of our team the last two years, so we have to make up for that by playing together and working as a collective group.” Johnson stated that it should be fun to watch this team come together as a unit as the year progresses. Only two players return to the women’s team this year. The first of the two is first team All-Region standout Lydia Box. Lydia averaged 15 points per game last season along with bringing down 8 rebounds per contest. “Lydia is one of the most special leaders that I have been around. She leads on and off the court with everything that she does. With her shooting ability and aggressiveness look for a big season from her,” said Johnson. The other returner from last year looking to help lead the Skyhawks is Holly Nicklaus. “Holly had a great freshman year last year and contributed a lot to our success. She reads the game better than anyone we have, and we hope to use that to our advantage this season,” Johnson stated. The Skyhawks have nine players on board that are new to the program. This includes three transfer students and six freshmen. Arlicia Turner is a transfer from Georgia Tech College and is a bruiser in the post. “She is very physical and highly skilled for a post player. Arlicia is expected to have an impact on the floor right away,” Johnson said. The next transfer is Patrice Grayned who has transferred in from Detroit, Michigan. “She has the potential to be pretty good if she continues to focus on the right things.” The last transfer that has joined the Skyhawks is local standout (Newman High School) Brianna Richardson. “Brianna is a great student athlete that loves to compete. She plays extremely hard and has a lot of talent,” Johnson added.
The freshmen class is going to have to step in and contribute immediately. Taylor Byrd (Rock Falls), Kayla Martz (Lanark), Kayla Barlow (Rockford), Becca Hendley (Dixon), Paige Calow (Freeport) and Sheldeen Joseph (St. Vincent) will all have a role to fill this season. “It will be important for this group to build good chemistry in order to be successful” Johnson said.
As this season starts Coach Johnson isn’t worried about the start of the season. “The start of the season is only to prepare for the end. I only remember one thing about last year and that is our loss in our regional tournament. That is what we will prepare for, we will prepare for the end.”