The Upperman Lady Bees enjoyed tremendous success in 2018 with a 26-6 record and a stellar 13-1 mark in district play, and with four returning starters, they could be poised for another big year.
For Head Coach Dana McWilliams, her job is made easier by the fact that this team didn’t graduate any seniors and returns that nucleus of the team.
“We won 26 games and we’ve got four returning starters,” McWilliams said. “We’ve got a nice, solid team coming back, and we didn’t have any seniors last year…we’ve got a lot of athletic girls and really good basketball players.”
This team is young and will rely a lot on underclassmen for some of the season, and while McWilliams believes there are multiple leaders on the team, she will lean on her lone senior for leading the younger players.
“I don’t think it’s one particular person in general as far as being a leader,” McWilliams said. “Our one senior is Ashland Mcclellan and she’s been a great leader for us…she’s really stepped up and she’s had a great summer. She’s enjoying our workouts and really being a positive leader, so I look for a lot from her.”
The strength in this team is that they are returning their main core this year, and McWilliams believe those players, along with some newer faces will be key in this team’s success.
“I have four starters coming back, and all four had really good years last year,” McWillaims said. “Probably another player that might surprise some people would be Aiyana Levy. She’s a sophomore and has had a great summer…Anna Grace McClain has been a really nice surprise for me. She’s a really good athlete, a great passer and ball-handler and she keeps getting better each year.”
The season is only a little over a week away, and while McWilliams knows this team isn’t quite where it wants to be yet, she’s excited for where they could go.
“I’m comfortable with this team, they have been so much fun to coach up to this point,” McWilliams said. “Just watching them in the weight room and conditioning and open gym, they have a lot of team chemistry. They really like each other and play well together…I’m looking forward to a good season.”