Being without a permanent head coach hasn’t kept the Middlesboro Lady Jackets from working hard to get ready for this fall’s basketball season.
Interim coach Scott Overbay, who helped coach most of the Lady Jackets when they were in middle school, has been working the team out during the summer.
He’s been impressed by the effort and cohesion the players have shown.
“They come in and give 100-percent every day,” Overbay said. “They didn’t get to go to a camp or anything like that, so I’ve just been focusing on the fundamentals every day. We’ve done a couple of scrimmages, but mostly it’s been just making every day like camp day.”
The girls have been working in individual drills to improve their ball-handling, shooting, passing and speed.
“Anything and everything we can do improve their individual games,” Overbay added.
About 13 girls have participated around vacations in the summer workouts and there were eleven girls out for Monday’s practice and just about all of them are high school students. That’s a big step for the program, which has had to rely on a lot of middle schoolers to round out the roster the past few years.
While the Lady Jackets have lost coach Elgie Green, assistant Debbie Green and leading scorer Blair Green to Harlan County, they’ll return starters Bailey Hensley, Morgan Thompson and Lauren Spurlock to this year’s team. They’ll also have several young players who gained varsity experience last year in Hannah Warren, Malorie Carter, Brenna Voges, Jamayha Poe and Hannah Crawford.
Overbay has also reached out to several players he helped coach in middle school that hadn’t been playing in high school. Those include Laura Durham, Baylie Brunsma, Baylee Woody, Jane Millett who have been practicing this summer along with Claiborne, Tenn., transfer Meredith Rutherford. He’s hoping to see more high schoolers come out for the team once school has started.
“Each of them is going to have to step up and take on a bigger role to do more things to help the team and I’ve just been trying to help them be ready to that no matter who the next coach is or what kind of system they run,” Overbay said.
Overbay is one of the candidates for the head coaching position and he’s set up a scrimmage against a team of Lady Jacket alumni for Tuesday evening at the high school.
“That’s just a kind of reward for these girls after all the hard work they’ve put in over the past four or five weeks,” he said.