The KC Lady Rangers are almost ready to make the long practices, numerous sprints and extra drills pay off in victories.
The Lady Rangers will participate in the Tyler Junior College Classic at Wagstaff Gymnasium Nov. 8-10 in Tyler and then visit Ranger College on Friday, Nov. 16. The team’s home debut is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, against Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf.
“I’m really looking forward to the this season,” said Alex Samples, Hallsville freshman. “It will be a lot of hard work but it will be fun.”
This year the Lady Rangers have eight freshmen and six sophomores on the team.
The sophomores are Keira Phipps, Tanisha Winston, Cieara Jimmerson, Victoria Billingsley, Amanda Lawson and Gabrielle Jackson. The freshmen are T’Kyh Jones, Alex Samples, Destiny Coley, Demoneyca Spivey, Maria Leaks, Bladine N’Goran and Chassity Irving.
“The biggest challenge for this season will be taking the new players and binding them with the returning and transfer players,” said head coach Roy Thomas.
Lawson transferred from the University of Houston and Jackson transferred from Cisco Junior College.
After being the men’s assistant coach from 2006 to 2012, Kenderick Franklin is now the assistant coach for the Lady Rangers.
“Men’s basketball is played above the rim, whereas women’s basketball is not,” Franklin said. “I’m looking forward to watching the team develop over the course of the season.”
Last year the Lady Rangers finished with an overall record of 16-12 and finished fourth in conference with a 9-9 record. This year they are picked to finish sixth in the women’s division for the 2012-2013 season.
“To be successful we will need to get better each game and take it one game at a time,” Thomas said. “They have to take care of the ball.”
Thomas is expecting leadership from the sophomores throughout this season. The Lady Rangers will face TJC, Trinity Valley Community College, Angelina College, Paris Junior College and Jacksonville in conference play.
“One of the toughest teams we will play is Trinity Valley, which was ranked No. 1 in NJCAA and went undefeated last season,” Thomas said.
The Lady Rangers had their first scrimmages Oct. 5. The team played Murray State College, Western Oklahoma State College and Seminole State College. The Lady Rangers played six halves, won three, lost two and tied one.
NOTES: Tickets for the Lady Ranger games will be sold at the door, $4 for adults and $2 for students. KC students and employees get in free with current ID. If interested in purchasing a season pass, contact Ronda Callaway at 903-988-7491 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The season pass is good at home games and cost $30.