ABOVE: Head Coach Whitney Corley watches on as Jazmyne Laskey, junior guard, passes the ball up-court. The Lady Builders open their season at home against Mid-America Christian Wednesday night at 6 pm. (Cale Eirich/Staff photographer)
By Cale Eirich
Coming off a year filled with adversity the Lady Builders are looking for a strong start to their 2018-19 season against a difficult opponent in Mid-America Christian (1-0). The defending National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) champions come into Stewart Fieldhouse with one game already under their belt, a 98-21 drumming of Manhattan Christian.
Despite a difficult challenge in MACU, the Builders are entering the new season with prepared and full of confidence Head Coach Whitney Corley said.
“From our student-athlete standpoint, if they feel very prepared then it makes me feel even more prepared, “said Corley. “We’ve put in a lot of work and we are a brand new team this year.”
The Builders have one returning senior in transfer Kamy Walck, a key contributor and one of the teams better three-point shooters. The team also has several returners that saw a lot of minutes last season in Jazmyne Lanskey, Marissa Evans and Makala Canada, all of which are juniors. Southwestern will look for those returners to step into bigger offensive rolls this season, along with Claren McCormick, junior, and a healthy Ashley Carrillo, sophomore, playing key roles in the post.
The Builders have also added key pieces this season in areas of need with Charon Cheatham, junior transfer from Bacone College, Alyssa Cox, junior transfer from NOC Tonkawa, and freshman London Futch.
“There’s always the uncertainty of experience,” said Corley. “We do have few who page major minutes for us, but when you add new players and girls who have been in the program that have developed and become varsity players for us, there’s that level of uncertainty of how much is it going to work when it all comes together.”
With a group of returners and the addition of talented players, the upperclassmen of the team have taken a strong leadership role to unite the team that has excited Coach Corley.
“Our upperclassmen have invested a lot as far as a leadership standpoint, creating a very connected team,” said Corley. Lots of love they share everyday and a very close-knit group, so from the standpoint it eases those uncertainties of what the product is going to be on the court because we know what we’re getting off the court and who we are as people. I think it’s going to show and translate on the court.”
The Lady Builders open their season tomorrow at 6 p.m. against Mid-America Christian in Stewart Fieldhouse.
Cale Eirich is a junior majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.