- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
With the roster for the Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team having been finalized, the real work begins this week for Comets Head Coach Matthew McCargo and his players.
“We’ve got to roll,” McCargo said Friday.
“We will get into team stuff Monday. We’re still working on conditioning, and we’re still doing drills to find out which of the girls are a little weak in different areas so we can focus on and correct those before we get into team stuff.
“We’re taking time to point out things to the girls and show them how to do them correctly,” he added.
“Once we get into next week, we won’t have time to do individual stuff.”
The Comets roster has 14 players with one alternate. Five players on the 14-player roster are returnees from last year’s team, which compiled a perfect 20-0 regular-season slate.
Among the returnees are Jaynee Campbell, Mecca Cole, Brianna Lindsey, Camey Reese and Lexi Tucker. Che’Lese Bowman, who started out on the varsity team as a freshman, but was moved back to the junior varsity team to get more playing time, is also among the players on the squad.
“We have a good mix of players,” McCargo said.
“The best thing is we have a group of girls that want to be there and are willing to work hard.”
McCargo said he left some flexibility in his roster in order to look at some players later in the season.
“We left one position open,” he noted.
“We have a couple of freshmen on the junior varsity team that we hope will progress to a point where, at some point in time, we will be able to move them up and see how they fare on the varsity level. If they fare well and are comfortable there, we may leave one of them there (on the varsity roster).”
McCargo said having the five returning players and Bowman gives the team a little measure of experience. Those players will now have to step up into roles they have not had to fill in prior seasons.
“None of these girls have had to be in a leadership role,” McCargo pointed out.
“They could sort of sit back and not be in the driver’s seat. Now, we’re expecting them to drive the car.”
Having lost nine seniors from last year’s team by way of graduation, McCargo said that in some respects it is like having to start at the very beginning.
“Having a practically new team, we have to introduce them to everything,” he explained.
“In the past, we have had girls coming back that understood exactly what was going on and each one could help a newer player. That’s not the case here.”
While it may appear to some that the Comets are not very far along, McCargo said the players are further along than some people may think. That, he says, is due to the efforts of former players Whitney McCargo, Melyse Brown, Shameika Canada and Ashley Leachman, all of whom spent some time during the summer and off-season working with some of the girls.
“These girls have come back and given back to the program like we want all of them to do,” McCargo noted.