“These girls have not had a whole lot of stability. They’ve gone through coaches. My fiancee played for Ashley Clowdis and had other coaches through the years. I want to bring a little bit of stability. I want to be somebody who they can expect to be here the next year, no doubts. I want to bring a lot of stuff Coach Rat does, but definitely the discipline part of Spring Garden basketball. Maybe they’ll be receptive.”
Hays said he’s happy things worked out where Jay could come on board with the Gaylesville coaching staff.
“We never did find that one person who could just take the girls and boys programs and just run with them, but then we came down to the end of summer and talked to Jay,” Hays said. “He has about a year from finishing up school. He’s going to be a certified teacher. He’s living in Gaylesville. He’s marrying a girl from Gaylesville. He’s living here in the community and he’s willing to do it.
“I’ve never heard anything negative about him. He came through Spring Garden’s program, so there can’t be anything but positives there. I’m excited about him coming on board and taking the girls.”
Hays said while both Prater and Lawson will be the head coaches of their respective programs, veteran coach Curt Hendon will still be the Trojans’ coach “on paper.”
“Since neither of them are actual employees of the school, Coach Hendon will be the guy as our representative,” Hays said. “Coach Hendon has his own kids and he likes to be involved in their lives in sports. He just didn’t particularly want to be the guy for basketball.”
With school starting Aug. 9, Prater hasn’t had an opportunity to officially meet with his new team. However, he has watched them scrimmage in a couple of summer play dates and “really like what I saw.”
“There’s a lot of athleticism, a lot of drive,” he said. “You’ve got some girls who have a lot of competitive fight and athletic ability. I’m going to try and instill some of the more specialized basketball skill that will maybe enable them to be very successful.
“I want our girls to understand some expectations before the season starts. As soon as school starts, I’d like to sit down with them and talk about some things we’re going to do day in and day out. Coach Hendon has done a really good job instilling a lot of that. I don’t think it will be a whole lot different than what he’s done. I’m just looking forward to meeting them and getting to know them.”