Kicking off spring semester sports

Alyssa Mitchell

As the spring semester begins, so do the spring sports. Basketball is starting the second half of its conference, and tennis, track and softball are also in the works.

“We are starting the second half of conference and we have some teams that are undefeated right now like Eastern New Mexico San Angelo and West Texas are also some teams that are always pretty formidable,” said Noel Johnson, women’s basketball head coach.

In the upcoming games they are focusing on growing and getting better.

“I’m very hopeful in the sense of us being able to get better and learn and present what our true identity as a team is,”Johnson said. “We try to do that everyday in practice and when we lace it up against our opponents, this is who we are and this is how you stop us.”

Tennis has also started off with  scrimmage games and has another one next week in Tyler, Texas against the Tyler, Texas Junior College men’s and women’s teams.

Scott Linn, head tennis coach said, “We have a good group of men and women this year, they have prepared very well this fall and the new players we brought in this spring are excited to be a part of this program.”

Some of the new players bring college experience and some bring good junior experience, according to Linn.

“There is a really good mixture of good returners and energetic younger players,” Linn said. “I am very excited about what this season has in store for our men’s and women’s teams.”

Indoor and outdoor track is also beginning, and head cross-country and track coach Koby Styles is excited for the upcoming season.

Styles said, “What makes us different than track programs is we only focus on what we are good at, we don’t have the jumpers and throwers or the short 100 or 200 sprinters. We focus on what we are good at and that is the middle and long distance.”

One of the track teams biggest challenges is that they can’t focus on team points.

Styles said, “It doesn’t look like we have a big track team because we are only specializing in a few events, so we struggle a little bit on the team point scheme.”

This could also benefit our track team because they can focus more on individual skills, according to Styles.

Styles said, “We are really able to hone in on their goals and what they are trying to accomplish.”

For this upcoming season they just want to get in there and get fast times so they can make it to nationals.

“The difference from 2007 to now the teams are complete polar opposites. The talent that we have now and the unity and family atmosphere that we have make this team special,” Styles said. “This is one of the most talented and fastest teams I’ve ever had.”

With it being spring semester, teams have started getting commitments from future students.

Johnson said, “We signed one early from Prosper High School. She is 6 feet, 3-inch freshman, Hannah Reynolds. So we are looking for high school kids, junior college and transfers.”

Not only are the skills important, so are their personalities according to Johnson.

Johnson said, “We are looking for some of those kids that are the missing pieces of the puzzle that is our team. They have to be the right fit and they have to be academically driven, be of high character and obviously have a high sense of pride in who we are when they come here.”

Coaches are looking forward to the spring season and how their players are going to do.

Johnson said, “I am proud of them, these kids have played hard. You create your own look by hard work and our kids are doing that.”

They are also looking forward to how the new freshman will grow.

Linn said, “They are fearless and their fearlessness is part of being good at something.”