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Stevens preparing for first season as varsity girls coach at EGHSPosted Tuesday, July 27, 2010, at 9:02 AM
Stevens has spent the past couple of months implementing his program after being named to succeed Dan Fidago as the varsity coach just before the end of the school year.
"It has been hectic, but it also has been a lot of fun," said the 2002 Edgewood High School graduate at a recent open gym. "Being hired in late May, I just barely had enough time to meet with all the girls and get things organized.
"It is a lot different being in charge compared to being the junior varsity coach. Everything is now your responsibility and every problem falls on your shoulders. I am looking forward to the season getting started."
Stevens, who teaches agriculture and physical education at Eastern Greene, said that his numbers have been good at summer workouts.
"We probably have been averaging about 22 girls in incoming grades 9-12," said Stevens, 26. "With everything else going on during the summer, I have been very happy about our numbers.
"Over the last three years, I have had a chance to work with all of the returning girls and has made the transition easier for all of us. It has been good to have this time with the incoming freshmen.
The Indiana University graduate said the Lady Thunderbirds have been competitive during games this summer.
"We went to the D-One camp in Fort Wayne June 20-23," said Stevens, who played football and basketball for one season at Hanover College before moving back to the area to help with his family farm. "Plus we had our own shootout in June as well as going to Loogootee.
"We were very competitive against bigger schools. I think it has been a very positive experience. It was extremely busy in June, like it is for everyone. We cut our workouts back in July as kids are busy with the fair, vacations and other sports. We will get back to work with conditioning and lifting weights when school starts."
Everyone on the junior varsity and varsity rosters are eligible to return, including Sam Reed, Brittany Igel, Cora Sherfield, Sydney Spice, Alexis Ray, Kelsey Wagner and Holly Hammock to name a few. The Lady Thunderbirds won nine and lost 14 games in 2009-10.
"The girls have worked very hard," said Stevens. "We have been trying to make the program even stronger than it is.
"I have been very lucky to inherit girls that love to play the game and are dedicated to basketball. I am very fortunate to have these girls in the program. I just want to try and keep the dedication and tradition going. There is a lot of pride within the program and the community."
The Lady T-Birds averaged 45 points and allowed just over 47 per game a year ago. He said they can score and will be focusing on their defense making things easier for the offense.
Stevens said he is thankful to have this chance.
"Not everybody gets the opportunity to be a varsity coach at age 26," he said. "I know how lucky I am. We are going to continue to work at putting a competitive team on the floor."
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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