Coaches like Leta Andrews don’t achieve greatness without constantly keeping one eye on the future.
Look at the roster of just about any Andrews-coached team and you’ll likely see at least one sophomore and/or freshman in the starting lineup.
It’s a mixture that has worked for nearly 1,400 victories over the span of more than five decades.
And it’s not likely to change soon, especially with the class of sophomores she will have at her disposal next season.
The freshman Lady Pirates, coached by Dina Carlton, were almost unbeatable. They finished 23-1 and were a perfect 12-0 in District 7-4A.
“They were a feisty bunch,” said Andrews, one of many compliments she has delivered about the squad during the memorable season.
“They are a group of winners, and I am expecting great things from them at the varsity level.”
Their only loss was to Stephenville early in the season. In any other program, many of those Honeybees would probably be on the varsity, but it just so happens that the Stephenville varsity was the No. 1 Class 3A team in Texas most of the season.
“This year we had a group of freshman that had three ingredients which made them successful,” Carlton said.
“They were always willing to listen and fix areas that needed improving. The thought of losing never entered their minds as the season played out. They truly loved going out and competing each and every game.
“I believe that if this group continues to possess these three things, the future will look bright for Lady Pirate basketball.”
It’s not a stretch to say the Lady Pirate freshmen would probably have been the fourth-place team at the varsity level of District 7-4A.That’s both a compliment to the talent of the Lady Pirates and a knock on the lack of talent among the bottom five teams in 7-4A.
The district featured Granbury, Aledo, Trimble Tech and five programs with junior high talent at best.
Worthy of perfection
The lone loss to stephenville was 39-33 in the semifinals of the Weatherford Tournament way back in November. The team had yet to find its chemistry.
“Boy, I sure wish we could play that game again,” said Andrews. “These girls deserve an undefeated season.”
It’s easy to see Andrews is ready to put them to the test at a higher level, and that she anticipates good results.
In that same vein, one of the questions that surfaces each basketball season is will it be the last for Leta? She always laughs off the question and jokes about taking her final breath on the sideline coaching a Lady Pirate game.
Leta’s career will end sooner than later, of course, but with this kind of talent about to join the varsity, odds are on later.
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