By Kayla Julian
The Cuyahoga Challengers women’s basketball team is heading into the 2015-2016 season armed and ready! With a disappointing season behind them, Coach Derrick Williams believes this season will be a huge improvement from last year’s fiasco. The eight-year head coach admits that everything will be 100% better and each player is ready for every challenge.
This year, Coach Williams was able to find marquee athletes with a goal in mind. Plus, the team is willing to go out and sacrifice their all, instead of playing just for fun.
With four returning starters, the ladies are ready to prove that this is not the same team we were watching last year.
Returning from an MCL injury is sophomore Keri Hill. During a phone interview, Keri indicated, “This year’s team has the potential to be really good and we have a lot of drive. We just have to push ourselves to be the good team that we want to be.” She believes that the talent level has increased and the team is better connected both on and off the court.
Returning starters will be a big help playing alongside incoming freshman teammates who might be lacking the skills or experience necessary when playing at the collegiate level.
Look for Akron newcomer, Darian Carter to make some noise on the court this season. Carter is a two-time player of the year from Firestone High School. During her senior year, she averaged approximately 25 points a game and Coach Williams said that, “she was a blessing to land.” In addition to Carter’s arrival, Coach Williams mentioned the landing of 6’ 4” freshman Ebony Young from Shaker Heights. Young’s height should be a huge help on the defensive end for the Lady Challengers.
With all the new talent and expectations Coach Williams mentioned, the most important thing he brought up was the fact that the grade point averages of the athletes have gone up tremendously. This season the team appears more focused on being sharp on and off the court. This year, we won’t have to worry about key players sitting out during important games because of failing grades.
Despite, all the mishap from last year, the Lady Challengers will be a tough match up for opponents. With their versatility, Coach Williams’ guidance, and each other’s support, the ladies are looking to amaze everyone with their talent and take control of the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference.