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HOOPS PREVIEW: Lady Redskins head coach eyes culture change in year one
Taylor Favors (5) is one of two seniors returning for the Lady Redskins in 2021. - photo by Covington News/File Photo

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Five. The number that represents a starting basketball lineup. 

Social Circle’s girls basketball team surpasses that total, but not by much. 

The Lady Redskins enter 2021 with limited depth having only nine total players. 

Another disadvantage for them is the team’s youth. 

Making up the Lady Redskins’ roster are three freshmen, four sophomores and only two seniors. 

Head coach Dave LaBarrie recognizes both factors as major hurdles in his team way. But, LaBarrie isn’t looking for his team to just give up before the first tip-off of the season. 

He wants to see his players go out and put their best foot forward every game. 

“I want to make sure they’re competitive,” LaBarrie said. “And I want to see their fundamentals improve to begin building the building blocks up for the younger players. I expect the leadership to come from the older players, but the building blocks have to come from the younger players.” 

Even so, LaBarrie is prioritizing changing the culture into a more prosperous one for girl’s basketball at Social Circle. 

For instance, it’s been approximately 13 years since the Lady Redskins qualified for the state tournament, according to LaBarrie. 

He’s hopefully, beginning in 2021, that Social Circle can work toward changing the trajectory of the program. 

“I think tradition has a lot to do with sports,” LaBarrie said. “There hasn’t been a winning tradition in the last 13 years. And that affects a program. So, even though we’re young, this team has to establish a winning tradition with some sort of success to get it going.” 

Climbing such a steep mountain won’t be easy for the Lady Redskins. 

They’ll have a tough 19-game schedule that awaits them soon. Social Circle will face teams such as Walnut Grove,  Monroe Area and Jasper County in addition to their Region 8A-Public schedule. 

But LaBarrie isn’t too concerned. He views the schedule as 19 opportunities to continue building the foundation one day at a time. 

“If they continue working at the pace they are right now, they will be better,” LaBarrie said.