If there was a team that may have a bright future on the horizon, it’d be the Benjamin Russell Lady Wildcats.
Don’t let their record fool you. The Lady Wildcats are young enough to become a force down the line and that should be a scary thought for opponents. Head coach Latreisha Moon’s squad only has one senior, five juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.
A team with that makeup will take their lumps, bumps and bruises but they’ll continue to work hard all season and come out posing a serious threat next season. Molding and shaping that core of talent, for any coach, is hard. Moon is no exception to that and she’s hard at work this season.
“It’s hard at times but every day we just work on fundamentals and try to get better all-around,” Moon said of working with a very young core. “We are young but I don’t like to use that as to why sometimes, things go bad. Even though that may be the case. I tell the girls that we can play with anyone as long as we hustle and work hard because hard work pays off! It really does!”
Adding into their youth is the fact that COVID-19 still rages on around the area. Many teams have faced their fair share of players missing generous time due to quarantine procedures. Moon’s squad is no different.
“The season has been hard because we have had many girls on quarantine and that causes us to not have as many girls at practice to work on what we need work on,” Moon said. “We are trying to just deal with the season and take it day by day. We have had several games canceled or postponed without a makeup date.”
With youth on the bench and all over the program, the Lady Wildcats do have four losses this year and sit at 1-4 on the young season entering the break. However, it’s keeping the program’s spirits up after losses that pose a considerable threat.
Moon says that it’s really hard to keep spirits up when the losses continue to pile on due to quarantine related absences. However, practices don’t stop for the Lady Wildcats. They continue to put in time on fundamentals and work longer when players miss time due to COVID-related quarantines.
The Lady Wildcats coaching staff is just taking it day by day through the pandemic.
“Although we know it’s real, we try not to put all our focus on the real-life issue outside of basketball,” Moon said of the unknowns this season. “We only try to control what we can.”
When it comes to any players that have improved this season for the squad. Junior Tyliciya Calhoun has impressed the coaching staff with overall improvement and maturity since last year.
Even though there have been four losses to mark their record, the Lady Wildcats have had a chance to learn in each defeat. For Moon, she says that the Auburn games would be those learning experiences.
“We played them kind of back to back,” Moon said. “We knew what kind of team Auburn has - and it’s a good one - but we played as hard as we could against them. We didn’t just stop or give up.”
As it stands, the Lady Wildcats will return to action January 4th on the road after the holiday break.