Looking to shake things up and continue their strong volleyball tradition at Paden City High School, the 2012 Lady Wildcats are ready for the new adventure this season will bring.
"We're ready to get out there and get started," said Head Coach Fred King. "We had a good summer, the majority of the kids worked in the off-season, and I think we have a pretty good group here."
Eleven members will make up the squad, which lost two of their top players to graduation last season, Dominique Craft and Amanda Heasley. They also lost an important player, Kelsey Loy, to injury, who is not playing this year.
This season, the Lady Wildcats will be led by two experienced seniors on the court in Lynnsie Parsons (outside hitter/defensive specialist), and Logan Cosper (setter).
"These two are our co-captains," King said. "They were both starters last year and understand what is needed. Lynnsie is vocal and will be our in-the-game coach. Logan is not quite so vocal, but still is able to lead the team as needed. Both are enthusiastic and energetic and that's what we're looking for in our leaders.
"Both of these kids have improved their game and we're looking for big things from both of them this year."
Two juniors, Josie Fox (defensive specialist/outside hitter), and Myah Charkawi (defensive specialist/outside hitter), each come to the team with experience. Fox played last year for the Green and White and King says she has shown marked improvement, especially in the outside hitter position.
"Josie is going to make her mark on the sport," he said. "She is our most improved player and gaining more power and honing her skills every day."
Charkawi, though new to the team, is not new to the game. She will bring a heavy hand on the ball, especially from the back row.
Other team members are sophomores Megan Pierce (outside hitter); Victoria Anderson (defensive specialist); Graeson Baker (defensive specialist/outside hitter); and Haley Hizer (outside hitter/defensive specialist). They each return with their own improved talents to insure the teams' success.
"These girls all are back from last season, and it shows," the coach said. "They have some experience, and they've got some work to do. But, overall, they're right where we expected them to be, champing at the bit for playing time."
Three rookies, Dezirae Middleton (defensive specialist); Taylor Cosper (defensive specialist/setter) and Cydney Blatt (outside hitter), join the team as freshmen.
"We've got a pretty nice group here," King said. "Each one brings something different to the mix, and together I think they're going to do good things. Our senior leadership will play a large role in our success this season. "
King says he believes his team's strength lies in its ability to adapt to situations at hand and their quickness in getting up and down at the net. "We're continuing to work on our timing and patience and it's coming along nicely."
Coming off a banner year when they took the Class A OVAC Volleyball Championship, the Mason Dixon Conference title, as well as their fourth Sectional championship in a row, the Lady Wildcats have a lot to live up to.