The Alcovy Tigers basketball program looks to add to its recent success as both squads head into their third season.
On the women’s side, the Tigers have revamped their coaching staff by adding once college assistant and former collegiate standout Kidada Holtzclaw at head coach.
The former assistant at Marshall, Austin Peay and Troy universities, Holtzclaw has brought her hard-nosed mentality to Alcovy and is looking to reconstruct the ailing Lady Tigers.
"I expect much harder play from the girls this year," Holtzclaw said. "We will need our returning players to step it up and show leadership in order to win."
The Tigers are coming off a dismal 2-18 season last year and are looking to put the travesty behind them.
"We have a bunch of kids who have really god attitudes and are determined," Holtzclaw said. "They come in each day believing that they can get better, and that’s what it takes."
The Lady Tigers are returning much of their key players from the 2007- 08 season like senior Tiffany Moody.
"Tiffany [Moody] shows a lot of leadership in both practice and the games," Holtzclaw said.
Also returning for the Tigers are guards Alex Tucker and Lisa Kossly, key contributors from last year.
"We also have a freshman Kate Pallow that we are very excited about," Holtzclaw said. "She has shown us a lot in practice and scrimmage so we are expecting a lot from her."
The Lady Tigers have nowhere but up to go. Gone is Suzanne Smith and the lackadaisical approach to practice and games. Now, the Lady Tigers have a coach who expects much more from her team.
Alcovy enters the season with a new attitude and a new sense of excitement. Holtzclaw has set standards for her girls and expects them to give effort whenever they take the floor.
With high expectations set for the Lady Tigers, gathering wins in the newly relocated 4-AAAA region will be all but easy.
"I am very familiar with a lot of the schools in the region from the college recruiting process," Holtzclaw said. "It’s going to be a lot tougher then what they are accustomed to playing, so we are going to have to prepare hard. We are a small team and have a hard time rebounding so we have to work extra hard on certain things to compensate for our lack of size."
Always thinking positive about the future of the program, Holtzclaw has set the bar high for her team.
"I expect us to limit our turnovers, shoot free throws well and finish on the plus side in rebounding." Holtzclaw said. "If we can do these things, the wins will be there for us."