David Reeder

COLCORD - It really doesn’t matter which of any of the Colcord basketball coaches and assistants you talk to. Every one of them has a different variation of the same theme. And that echoed mantra is a new found dedication to unity or as Hornet boys’ head coach Rick Hendren succinctly summarized, “It’s all about team this year.”

And true to their coaches words, the Hornet boys went through a spirited two hour practice session punctuated by mutual shouts of support during some grueling drills and wind sprints.

6-2 Dakota Place, 5-10 Caleb Backwater and Chris Van Dyke are the triumvirate of seniors that will anchor the Hornets’ four-out motion offense.

Hendren had high praise for his seniors and pointed out Van Dyke saying, “Chris has a torn ACL and he’s opted to put off his surgery until after his senior season. That kind of dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

Joining the three seniors is 6-2 junior veteran, Canaan Sherrell who brings a lot of experience to the floor and is an offensive threat from both inside and outside the arc.

Looking to round out the Hornet stating five is 6-0 junior Sage Keenom, who Hendren describes as, “The hardest worker I’ve ever had.”

Juniors Zack Shelley and Rusty James will battle for the first spot off of the Colcord bench.

In addition to his player’s efforts, Coach Hendren credited his assistant, Terrell Denny for his support and twice a week weight training.

Head coach, Mark Sherrell has nothing but good things to say about this year’s Lady Hornet squad.

And his words ring familiar, saying, “This group has worked harder and shown more unity as a group than any other team I’ve had before.”

And before he could be interrupted, he quickly added, “And I credit that to my two seniors.”

The Lady Hornets will be banking on seniors, Alena Sanders and Magen Wheeler to captain their multiple set offense and on again/off again ‘Amoeba’ defense.

5-10 junior Courtney Nichols and sophomore forward Shelley Swicegood account for four of the starting Lady Hornet five, while there continues to be a battle for the fifth spot.

Sherrell did go as far as to state, “We’re better shooters this year and we’re a whole lot better off of our bench. In fact, we might have some surprises off of our bench.”

Don’t be surprised if Sherrell and company continues to turn the Lady Hornet program around.

There’s little doubt that there’s plenty of parity on the boys’ side of the district this year. On the other hand, the girls’ district is arguably the toughest 3A conference in the state. And Colcord jumps directly into the fire when they open up at home with Adair on December 1 followed by Westville on the 4th.