FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The itch-factor is at an all-time high as the long offseason continues for the Fairmont State women’s basketball team.
The Fighting Falcons have been practicing eight hours a week, Monday-Friday over the last two months. But this week, they added Saturday to the mix, signaling the season is drawing near, but it can’t get here quick enough.
“The kids …. yeah. It’s above ten,” said Fairmont State head coach Stephanie Anderson when asked about the ‘itch factor’ on her team? “The kids are so ready to play somebody else. They’ve been practicing probably two months. They’re ready to play somebody.”
Anderson is entering her second year as head coach. Her team went 15-14 in her first year as the leader of the program.
“I could write a book on everything I felt I learned last year,” said Anderson. “There’s just so many things that now I have a sample to look at.”
Asked about the biggest thing she took away from last year, Anderson talked about compartmentalizing goals into smaller, more day-to-day goals, which she says help make the big goals become a reality.
Fairmont State has a good mix of experienced players and new faces.
Seniors Sierra Kotchman, Pressley Tuttle and Kamrin Weimer will lead the way, with junior Gracey Lamm also taking on more responsibilities heading into her junior season.
“They’ve been fantastic. I think that’s the biggest thing, is leadership is great this year. We really tried to instill that last year,” said Anderson. “(Sierra’s) going to work hard constantly. You’re not going to find a more disciplined kid than Sierra Kotchman. So, as far as the scoring and all those things, I don’t think any of that will make a slip. The biggest stride she’s made is leadership.”
But Anderson is also excited about her first recruiting class, which features players who come from winning backgrounds and add to the versatility of this team.
“That does make it easier when you recruit kids who win, because then they already have that winning mentality,” said Anderson. “All four of them come from very successful schools, and they’re used to that, so that’s good. They’re high motor. It’s been fantastic.”
Some Division-II conferences have begun playing, as have a majority of Division-I conferences.
The Mountain East Conference has not yet released schedules for winter sports. When the MEC announced in October that winter sports would be postponed, it said that they would not begin, “no earlier than January 1, 2021,” according to the statement.