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New coach aims to turn Lady Tigers around
Holtzclaw to focus on strength training, summer camps

COVINGTON - A new coach will hopefully mean different results for the Alcovy Lady Tigers basketball program.

The first sign that shows that the Lady Tigers will not be doing things the same way as before is going to be this summer.

"I'm not sure what the kids have done, but I do know there wasn't a whole lot of involvement during the summers and that's the biggest thing. We've got to get the kids in the gym in the summertime and get them playing against other people," first-year head coach Kadada Holtzclaw said. "We've got to get them in some summer camps and get them working out in the weight room, that's going to be really big. From my understanding after speaking with the assistant coaches, that's something the kids have been lacking in the past."

Holtzclaw plans to get things started on June 2 where aside from the local workouts in the gym and in the weight room the Lady Tigers basketball team will also attend a team camp at Whitewater High School.

The main focus of the summer program will be to work on the fundamentals, which according to Holtzclaw, is something they haven't done as far as preparing before the season.

"It's really hard to prepare for a season in two weeks. The players need to understand that the summer time is going to be a time for them to work on the fundamentals; get a lot of shots up, work on passing, dribbling and defending and get the entire team concept early on. So once school starts we're ready to start working on offense and working on defense as opposed to (when school starts) getting to the fundamentals and learning how to play," Holtzclaw said.

While Holtzclaw has not seen the players in action, she is excited to get the Moody sisters, Tiffany and Nikki, along with Alex Tucker on the court.

The only time Holtzclaw was able to see what the girls could do was during a shoot-a-thon fundraiser. From that little bit, she knows that everyone has their work cut out in order to improve from last year's dismal 2-18 season.

"I have a pretty good idea of what every player needs just by watching them shoot around," Holtzclaw said. "I'll take some time to look at some game film, look at some stats and decide where to go from there."

Even though this is Holtzclaw's first venture into coaching at the high school level, she is far from being inexperienced.

She started coaching right out of college where she led an AAU team from Alabama to a 36-place finish out of 100 teams in the nationals.

Her coaching experience continued when she was a graduate assistant at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas before becoming the third assistant at Marshall University for two years.

From there she became the first assistant at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn.

Holtzclaw helped lead the team to the NCAA tournament where the Lady Governors went on to win the conference championship.

"I think my experience will be able to help out a lot being able to teach the game, the game is the same," Holtzclaw said. "In college it's a lot more aggressive, a lot more up tempo. I would like to bring a lot of that to Alcovy. Also the intensity is something that we'll be stressing a lot.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.