With the exception of another senior, Cassie Battles, who joined the team this year, the rest of Bryant’s team is equally as young with sophomores Ally Ponder, Baily Scott and Kaitlyn Strickland, 9th grader Kendall Johnson, 8th grader Atleigh Brannon and seventh grader McKinley Parris.
Bryant is especially excited about newcomers Brannon and Parris. “They are both young but very athletic. Their basketball skills and maturity are far beyond their age. They both can handle the basketball well, shoot well and are aggressive on defense,” said Bryant.
Bryant doesn’t shy away from having young players on his team. “Sometimes we get a bad rap for pulling up younger players,” said Bryant, “but our philosophy is that if you are good enough then you are old enough. Our female athlete core as a whole is relatively young but very competitive which is creating a great deal of excitement and buzz about where all of our female athletic programs are headed.”
Bryant know that his team needs to mature quickly as they are in one of the toughest 2A areas in the state with Woodland, Ranburne, Wellborn and Ohatchee.
“Our returning players endured a youthful and tough season last year,” said Bryant. With the addition of several upcoming sophomores and talented young players we expect to have more success this year.”
The Lady Raiders will begin their season on Tuesday at White Plains.