The Canton South Lady Wildcat basketball team, under head coach James McKenzie II, will look toward their six returning letter winners, including all five starters from a year ago-- to provide the base for the high expectations at South for this season's team.
"In my two years here, we have had experienced posts with young guards. Finally, we have experience from point guards to shooting guards, to post players. Though we are still young, we have been playing well so far in our scrimmages and had a great off season with leagues and workouts. The girls' attitudes and work ethic is the best it has been in three years and the kids and coaches are excited about the season. The players' expectations are at the highest I have seen since I have been here at South," said Coach McKenzie II, who is in his third year as the Wildcats leader.
The six returning letter winners from a season ago are senior Morgan Teter (Honorable Mention All-District and All-NBC); juniors, Livi Forshey (two year letter winner), Joelle Martin (All-District and 2nd Team All-NBC), Katie Uminski (Honorable Mention All-District and All-NBC) and Caroline Thompson (one year letter winner); and sophomore Hunter Harris (Special Mention All-District).
When asked about the teams strengths for this year, McKenzie answered, "Their attitudes and their ability to get along and motivate each other, as well as they are a pleasure to be around."
Wildcats looking to make a splash on the varsity squad are senior Tammy Westmoreland, junior Kayla Thompson and sophomore Ann Marie Trissel.
McKenzie projects his starting line-up to include Harris, Teter, Martin, Uminski and Thompson.
When asked about the NBC league race this year, McKenzie said, "West Branch and Carrollton are believed to be fighting for the league title as both teams have very strong programs. Louisville lost a lot, but will still continue to be a top team in the NBC. Minerva and Salem, like us, will bring back a lot of returning letter winners and Alliance and Marlington will be competitive but appear to be in a transition with young players and new coaches at both schools."
The Lady Wildcats will open up on Friday, Nov. 23, against Canton Central Catholic at 7:30 p.m. They will then travel to Dover to take on the Tornadoes on Nov. 28 before returning home for their first league game against favorite West Branch on Dec. 1. Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m.
"I want us to be more aggressive and consistent," said Coach McKenzie on his girls, "We are also asking a lot of underclassman to take on more rolls."
McKenzie will be assisted this season by Glen Schering and Jess Schering.