In Alan Stahlecker?s first year as head coach of the Centre High School girls? basketball team, the Cougars have four starters returning from a 9-13 team that placed third in the Eisenhower League last year.
Stahlecker noted that the Cougars?with two players as tall as 5-feet, 8 inches?are not blessed with height. But with the experience and skills required to work against opposing defenses and with strong defensive skills of their own, the Cougars will be a handful.
?We are small, so rebounding will be a challenge,? Stahlecker said.
He noted that Wakefield and Elyria Christian have top teams.
Centre will vie for another top-three finish, and all-league guards Shelby Deines and Carlye Simons will lead the charge.
Ripley Howard and Allison Shields were starting forwards last year, and the team will include four other letter-winners: Samantha Seifert, Josie Peterson, Amanda Floyd and DJ Turner.
Stahlecker has six seasons of coaching experience and a 54-50 record in non-varsity games. His next varsity win will be his first.
The Cougars? season begins Friday against Southeast of Saline.