Washington and Washington Catholic fell short of their goals during the 2012 season, but as the 2013 season gets started both programs have a new look. The Cardinals have an infusion of young talent to go with their strong veteran presence, while there will also be changes with the Hatchets, who are on their third coach in three years, coming off a season, which ended as a sectional runner-up.
Entering his first season as the head coach of the Lady Hatchets, Stacy Bryant has an advantage over a typical first-year coach. Bryant has already coached many of the same players when they were much younger in the junior high ranks. That familiarity has allowed Bryant and the Hatchets to get on the same page quickly, and the results have been positive.
“The girls are very optimistic, I think they’re excited for this season and it’s a hard-working bunch,” Bryant said. “We have good leadership and they compete hard every day. A good thing, especially with girls, they don’t seem to be offended by competing hard. They may be friends, but I’m stressing that even at practice they need to work hard and compete. They’ve been doing that thus far, and I’ve been impressed so far.”
Bryant said it has made the transition easier with that fact that he knows a large amount of the girls, but that doesn’t mean his evaluations of each player in preseason practice will be any different. In fact, he gets to see an updated version of the players he remembers with competition from ones he isn’t as familiar with. Bryant did add he has coached some of the girls since they were as young as nine years old.
“I haven’t pigeon-holed anybody, they have to earn it, just like if I had coached them every year,” Bryant said. “People change, their attitudes change, their philosophies change, their desires change, and the age that they are at right now their bodies have changed. Taking all that into consideration, they still have to prove themselves on the field and they’re up to that challenge.”