Cherokee County Herald - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

“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.”

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