‘Tough Schedule’ Key To Preparing Lumpkin For Defending Region Title [VIDEO]
Arguably the single best school year in Lumpkin County girls athletics came in the 2020-21 season, in which the volleyball program led off a stretch of four girls sports that hoisted a region championship trophy. The Lady Indians volleyball team went first, with many of its roster players helping lead the girls basketball team to the same feat, and some of the other girls played a role in the girls soccer team claiming their own or the girls tennis team doing their thing.
“We had all the region championships just falling in line ,” says coach Haley Dibble. “It was a really cool year last year just to watch all our girls have all that success, and it was really cool that we got to start it off.”
The Lady Indians went 26-10, marking a program record for wins, advanced to their second-ever Sweet 16, and grabbed their first region title and state ranking (#7). The program itself dates back only to 2009, and Dibble is the sixth head coach in the 13-year-old program. She knows that the girls will get every team’s best shot to take them down.
“We’ve talked a lot about that, how we’ve set the expectation and we’ve set a new standard,” claims Dibble. “We know that it’s still going to be hard. We worked hard for that region championship…we had to fight for those games and those wins. Just because we won last year doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again this year. We definitely know that we’re going to have some competition, so we are preparing for that mentally. We’ve got some hard games on the schedule to prepare for that.”
Gone are senior leaders MaKenzie Caldwell and Isabel Davenport, but the trio of this year’s senior class includes big-time playmakers Kiersta Trammell, Reagan Spivey, and Addie Rucker.
“Those three are three of my very strongest players. Kiersta is phenomenal. She is my go-to, she’s incredible. Reagan and Addie are just so powerful at the net, they’ve got more power than any I’ve ever seen.”
That trio has played together for many years, and Dibble has high hopes for them guiding this team back to the playoffs in 2021.
Still, many players will need to step up, and
“We know what we have to do, we’ve done it before. We’re going to have it take it from each game, each point, each touch. Everything counts from this point forward. I’ve been telling the girls, our schedule is tough this year, we’re not going to focus on what our record is. In order to win that region championship…we’re going to focus on everything we can do to improve.”