Coach Owens returns seven lettermen, including four seniors. Representing the senior class are Qua’Shaun Jacobs, Shanai McKoy, Shmeikia Smith, and Shaniece Twitty.
A key newcomer is sophomore Lexus Simpson.
Gone are Jocelyn Corbett and Maria Morrisey. Owens says he will miss their leadership.
The Lady Dark Horses have set lofty goals for the 2010-11 season. Their first goal is to be conference champions. Other goals are to be competitive in all games, and be in contention for the state championship.
Owens feels that his biggest challenge this year will be keeping the girls focused. “That was the weakness last year,” admitted Owens.
The Dark Horse coach reflected that last year’s best win was over Union. “We beat them in the Nathan Gay Tournament,” explained Owens, “after we had already lost twice to them.”
Owens looks forward to the Union matchups again this year, because they are their Sampson County rivals.
Conference-wise, Owens sees Northside as the team to beat. They won the conference last year.
Chris Owens’ staff includes Bobby Lamb and Cynthia Herring. Lamb will serve as the junior varsity coach.
The thing that excites the Dark Horse coach going into the new season is “coaching these girls,” he declared. “They want to get better. They were dedicated all summer and attended UNC team camp.”
What scares the Clinton coach is a lack of focus. “If we can stay focused,” he stated, “we can be successful.”
The Lady Dark Horses will host a girls basketball jamboree Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m. They will scrimmage at East Bladen on Tuesday. The regular season will begin on Nov. 22 when they host Lakewood.