All hands on deck for Lady Statesmen

Published 11:27 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Randolph-Henry High School varsity girls basketball team enters the 2016-17 season with a new coach and a focus to improve.

D.J. Jack, who coached for eight years at Appomattox County High School, takes the reins of a Lady Statesmen squad that struggled last season, going 2-18.

To help his team succeed, Jack has laid out some fundamental expectations of his players.

“I’m looking for us to continue improving on all of the aspects of the game, day in, day out,” he said. “Work hard every day when we come to practice. Focus on the little things that will allow us to become successful throughout the year.”

He said he is encouraging his players to believe in themselves and the coaches so when the team walks off the court after a game, everyone can say they gave 100 percent.

“If we do this, good things will happen,” Jack said.

The Lady Statesmen are pressing on this season without Da’Sheckalee “Molly” Rose, Adrianne Nelson and Kierra Dodd, who graduated.

The 2016-17 roster is comprised of three seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and one freshman.

Jack said he is counting on his seniors to lead, but he he is counting on everyone to step up and play key roles for the team to succeed.

“Our number one thing is to control the basketball and that means the guards (Tehya Pugh, JaKya Pettus and Tajalin Watson) are going to be held accountable for making sure that happens. Our bigs (Tori Thompson, LeOlivia Standford, Tori Washington, Tyra Randolph, Ty Banks and Liyah Stevenson) inside are going to have to block out on the boards and be very aggressive on the offensive and defensive part of the floor.”

To open the season, the Lady Statesmen host Gretna High School on Monday at 7 p.m.