GALION — Galion is under new, but familiar leadership starting in the 2022-23 season. Long-time assistant, Carson Early, is ready to build the Lady Tigers basketball program from the ground up. Early is head coach No. 17 in the girls’ basketball program which has been around for 46 years.
“I have been with the Galion girls’ program either as a middle school coach, junior varsity coach, or varsity assistant for 11 years,” said Early.
Hitting the ground running, one of the important things this season is to build a foundation. For the program that means having a junior varsity team.
“We didn’t have a junior varsity team last year, so my goal this whole offseason was to have at least 20 players this year,” explained Early.
The Lady Tigers have started a youth clinic, which was a success with over 30 young athletes attending from the grade school age. Early has a vision for the program early on, and he knows where he wants it to start.
“The overall goal is to get the girls to believe in themselves, bring excitement, have fun, and be competitive in games this year. We want to build on that each year.”
This season the Lady Tigers only return two starters, and they lost quite a bit to graduation. Gone is Natalee Perkins, who now plays basketball at Bluffton University. Teanna Greter, Emma Jutz, Kylie McKee, Dakota Barnes, Phynix Cole, and Alisha Conklin all left as seniors last season. Lexi Rush tranferred to Colonel Crawford after sitting out last season with an injury.
Sophomore Cameron Eckert and senior Dezi Lester are the lone returning starters for Galion this season. There are mulitple newcomers that will make an impact for the Lady Tigers this season. Freshman Paige Beach and Bianca White are entering the program as guards. Sophomores Audrey Glew, Emily Williams, and Kortnie Ganshorn are all going to have roles in the program.
“We have a total of five girls that didn’t play last season that is returning to basketball, and we have six incoming freshmen. So, we will definitely be a young team,” Early said.
“I’m definitely looking forward to getting the girls involved and making basketball fun so that they continue to come out and play.”
Early has been impressed with the excitement from the girls this year.
“They come to practice ready to go and really want to be there. That is huge just to have that excitement day after day. They want to be there to learn and to get better. They show up to our youth clinics to help instill that same excitement in them. It is great to see and I hope it continues, just seeing the energy that we have been bringing to practice and scrimmages is great.”
It isn’t going to be about wins and losses for a program that has not won more than five games since the 2012-13 season. But Early has a solid plan in place for the Lady Tigers basketball program and it should be fun to watch them build.