Women's Basketball Meets a Rollercoaster Season
Even though the Lady Rams began the season with their head coach taking on a new position, they still took on the challenge.
February 1, 2011
The women’s Basketball team has been making major adjustments this season, from coaching changes to playing the actual game.
As of December, Jessica Brokaw is the acting head coach. Brokaw described the season as a “rollercoaster.” Former head coach Steve Hardin told the team Nov. 30 that he would be leaving to take on a new coaching challenge. The ramifications of that coaching change made a big impact on the team, and left the Lady Rams wondering what they would do next.
“It definitely took a toll on the team,” said Kia Gilliard, a team captain this season. “It was tough to find the urge to want to play at first.”
“A lot of the girls were really close to him,” said Brokaw. “It has been hard not having him here. The team took it pretty hard and felt as if he had given up on them.”
All Brokaw asked of the team when she took over is that they “play hard.” The first few games paid an emotional toll on the team, but from a positive point of view, the team has looked at the situation as a challenge and come out more like a family, said Brokaw.
“We are still struggling, but this is the closest the team has been,” said Gilliard. “Jess is not only our head coach but a big sister. We have to help her as much as she helps us.”
The acting athletic director and men’s soccer coach, Peter Dryer, described the transition as a “distraction for the young women,” but he said he thinks that after Christmas break the team came back with a renewed purpose, allowing them to play better together.
“Now we look at the game ahead, and focus on the present more than the future,” said Brokaw. “We have to take care of what’s in front of us and the future will hold great things."
Currently the Rams are fighting for a spot in the top of the conference. Brokaw said Gilliard is the heart of team and a player who brings both energy and focus to the floor. Gilliard’s personal goal for the team is to finish five hundred or better so they can go to a tournament at the end of the season.
“Recently the young women have played with passion and excitement,” said Dryer. “They play hard and challenge everything. It is a fast game with a lot of athletic ability. It is fun to watch. You can see they enjoy it!”
The Rams expect to finish in the top half of the conference. Brokaw said they had few tough loses that helped her and the team learn to stay calm and selective at the end of a game. They are halfway through the season and recently started to cycle through conference play for the final time this season.
“If we come prepared with our heart and mind prepared we can easily be strong contenders for the rest of the schedule and finish five hundred, “said Gilliard.
On Feb. 2 the women will get a second chance to compete against Milligan College at home.
“We did not play well,” said Brokaw. “We owe them when they come to us.”
Senior Night is Feb. 19 when three seniors, Katrina Morris, Kiara Honore, and Kiara Williams, will be honored for their time at Bluefield College.
The women’s team considers themselves awesome because they understand that they win and lose as a team, and they feel like they have a home away from home in each other.
“It’s a family with a bunch of sisters and one parent,” said Brokaw. “The girls are always telling me I will be a great mom one day because of all I juggle for them.”
Coach Brokaw said she does it all for the young women because she wants to help younger student athletes.