West Prairie Ready to Return to Winning Ways
Just three years removed from a state championship season, the West Prairie Cyclones are beginning preparations for what should be a big season. Head Coach Teri Paul has built a solid winning culture for the Cyclones, and expects big things from this team.
“I’m very pleased with what I got to see out of our girls this past weekend,” Said Paul of her first summer experience with this team.
Expect a deep, versatile squad with players from every class, as they try to find girls who provide skill at a multitude of different positions.
“We look like we’re going to have eleven juniors and seniors, one sophomore, and fill in with three freshmen,” Paul said of her roster composition, “Last weekend we went with twelve girls and we played a lot of different lineups and were able to see a lot of different things.”
Paul will begin really ramping up the schedule for the Cyclones this weekend, as she has planned practices and training sessions all weekend for them. One new twist she has added to the summer program has her team feeling the heat.
“I think last week we spent a lot of time competing, now we’re getting back in the gym,” Paul said, “We were pretty sore, we’re doing a new weight program, but this week there is an emphasis on more training, picking things apart that we saw last weekend, what we need to do better.”
Coach Paul has also scheduled plenty of matches for the remainder of the summer, as she plans on taking the Cyclones to Rushville and Illini West in Varsity and JV split tournaments next weekend, followed by a July 4th weekend rest. Then, they will head to Lewistown for a four team tournament, and finish the summer off at the Lincoln Land Tournament. The season gets underway for the Cyclones on August 12th.
Part of the winning mentality of the Cyclones was born in that 2016 State title run, but all of those contributors have since graduated or moved on. It is now on the younger players, some of whom have experienced success at the lower levels, to step up and keep that mentality in place.
“Our juniors and seniors got fourth place as seventh and eighth graders at the State Tournament,” Said Paul, “But they haven’t really had that kind of winning situation since then, so they’re hungry. This group is ready, they have that frame of mind of what they need to do to be successful.”
Ball control will be a key, she went on to add, as the team projects to be on the smaller side this season. Aggression and focusing on minor details are two things Paul wants to focus on to make sure she gets the most out of each and every player. In any case, this season should be an exciting one in West Prairie.
The original story, written by Scott Holland, can be found here: https://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/sports/20190618/big-things-ahead.