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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Thomas starts rebuilding process for Eaglettes

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

(Photo)
A new era for the Shelbyville Central Golden Eaglettes has begun as Kevin Thomas takes over the 13-time state champion program with hopes of restoring a winning tradition.

Thomas coached the Central boys for the past 13 years.

"The transition coming over from the boys team to the girls has been really smooth and positive. I've found out that these girls are very coachable and are willing to work hard at practice," Thomas said.

Rebuilding

"I know this is a big job with a lot of expectations and I'm looking forward to working hard with these girls and getting this program back to where everybody wants and thinks it to be."

As the Eagles' coach, Thomas posted a 256-159 record (.617 winning percentage) with a pair of state tournament appearances, four trips to the sub-state (sectionals), one region championship, four District 8-AAA titles and finished runner-up in the district five times.

This year's Eaglette team will be a work in progress as the squad consists on only three upperclassmen on the roster including lone senior Bree Horner along with juniors Kimme Bayne and talented Marshall County transfer Jameka Braden.

Good addition

Braden is being recruited by a number of Division I schools and will be a huge asset to this team. She will be called on to play a number of different positions and is very versatile on the court.

"We're an extremely young team with only one senior and two juniors and we don't have a lot of playing experience returning. We know this is going to take some time so we're going to have to be patient," Thomas said.

"On top of our lack of experience, we've a number of players that are going to have to play positions that they've never played before and that's going to take some time as well. We're very fortunate to have Bree, Kimme and Jameka as our upperclassmen and they are providing great leadership both on and off the court to this young team."

Young players

The Eaglette roster contains nine sophomores and one freshman.

"For us to have any success at all, we've got to play hard on defense every time we hit the floor. That includes being in the right place on the court and playing with a lot of heart. That's just what we're going to hang our hat on," Thomas said.

"As the season progress, I think we'll become much better on the offensive end of the court. We're going to try to push the ball and score some off transition. With our lack of size, I don't think we're going to be able to go down and beat a lot of teams in a half-court set night in and night out. We've got to do a good job of pushing the tempo up and we've got to shoot the ball well."

District outlook

Columbia is the hands on favorite at the start of the season in District 8-AAA and Franklin County returns a lot of experience.

"Our goal for this young team is get to the region but I also told the girls that it's our goal to get to that district championship game as well," Thomas said. "That's something I think we can reach if we can keep growing and getting better as the season goes along."


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