HYDEN, Ky. (WYMT) - The Lady Eagles of Leslie County have a lot of talent coming back from a team that was knocked out in the regional quarterfinal by eventual champion Knott Central. Though they have a new coach in Larry Sparks, things will not change much.
"There were still a lot of similarities when I came back to help him, and so I've kind of got reacquainted with some of the things I did a long time ago," head coach Larry Sparks said. "Some of the things that he brought to the table, and we're not trying to change things a whole lot."
"It's not that different," Hannah Gay, a senior guard/forward added. "He has the same attitude, like wants to win just as much as coach Collett did, so the atmosphere's not that different."
Sparks was an assistant to coach Mark Collett for the past five years, so the system and style of play will still mean pushing the ball up the court and hard-nosed defense.
"Oh we're gonna be really aggressive on defense," Junior Guard Lexy Meyers said. "Offensively we're gonna try to run the ball, get up the court as quick as we can."
"Definitely quick. We play really fast, really hard and really aggressive," Kaley Horton, a senior center added.
The Lady Eagles were picked to win the 14th region, according to the Cats' Pause, and they agree with that prediction.
"I'm hoping we can end it with a lot of records broken, championships won, cause we definitely worked for it," Horton said.
"Win region, win All "A", All "A" state. You know, all of it" Junior Point Guard Hailee Mullins stated simply.
However, no one in the region will just hand Leslie County the trophy. With a host of good teams ready to dethrone Knott Central, the Lady Eagles know hard work is key if they want to succeed.
"Everyone works hard and a little harder, just trying to make it a better season," said Deanna Simpson, a senior center/forward.
"We're just committed to achieving our goals, and hard work is what's going to get us there," added Senior Forward Kelsey Harvey.
And for the seniors, this last go around will be a special one with this program.
"I'm excited but a little bit sad too cause it's my final year, but I think there are good things in store for us," Harvey said.
The Leslie County Lady Eagles open up the season ranked No. 4 in the girls' Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10.