In his second year as head coach, Mark Parker has been preparing his players for success with straight talk and no-nonsense fundamentals. The team’s hard work and focus over the summer has definitely paid off in a 3-0 start to the season. This is looking to be a very exciting year for the Lady Hornets with some dynamic young talent and strong senior leadership.
The skills coming from the freshman class are substantial as two players, Cameron Cardenas and Katie Giller, have earned positions in the starting line up. When asked about players stepping up and showing exceptional leadership Coach Parker mentioned senior Bri Hurt. Parker said, “[She] has stepped up early in the season and shown a great deal of leadership on the floor. She has been the rock of our starting five…”
Reflecting on last season, turnovers and rebounding were definitely areas of improvement. “Our main goal is to cut our turnovers in half this season. We feel if we can do this we will have a very successful season.” – Parker stated in a recent interview. The team didn’t waste any time in working to improve their skills. Over the summer the girls were busy with open-gyms, scrimmages, and camps. Coach Parker exclaimed, “We had an amazing summer.” Parker highlighted the teams great attendance over the summer and trips to a shoot-out at Indiana University and a three-day camp at Notre Dame.
When closing out the interview coach was asked if he had any Mark Parkerisms he used to motivate players or energize the team. As he didn’t have a special quote or phrase, he added this, “All my kids know, I sugarcoat nothing. I am as straight forward with them as possible. If their not working hard, someone else is and will be taking their playing time. As any coach knows we often get accused of playing favorites, and with me it’s true. So here’s what I tell my kids when asked, “Do coaches play favorites?” “YES!!! My Favorite players are ones that are coachable, work hard, take care of the ball, and buy into our program.”
Coach Parker and his team know that there is still a lot of basketball to play. A successful season is going to take focus, continued improvement, and fan support. Help keep the buzz going and come out to support the Lady Hornets. Upcoming home games are 11/22 against Danville and 12/2 against Arsenal Tech. JV starts at 6 with Varsity to follow.