Lady Devils under new leadership

Published 9:16 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2011

As basketball season nears, the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils are again preparing under a new head coach. As Janice Kidd taking over the reigns of the Lady Blue Devils, the change marks the fourth head coach in the last four seasons.

Kidd said she is not taking the challenge lightly and is first working to earn the trust of her team.

By working hard and being present each day, the new head coach hopes to help bring out the best in her team, she said.

Jasmine Ireland and the ECHS Lady Blue Devils open their season on Nov. 18 with a game at Monroe County HIgh School in Monroeville.

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““It’s hard for them because I keeping telling them that I’ll be there each day for them,” she said. “That’s the same thing the other coaches said though, but hopefully this year with me being here each day will help them and bring out a great group of girls.”

With another coach, the Lady Blue Devils are learning a new philosophy that will carry them through the season.

Putting the players through drills is the way that Kidd expects to help them learn each new aspect of her style, she said.

“We have been working on several different drills each day at practice,” she said. “We have been working on our layups as well as press and talk drills. We continue to work on our motion offense where we have to learn to be patient and disciplined in order to find good shot selections.”

The biggest learning curve sat with the type of offense that Kidd will have ECHS running.

After having trouble early, the Lady Blue Devils have come to take on the new offense and run with it, she said.

“So far the girls are making the adjustment to my motion offense,” she said. “They seem to pick up the passing and movement well. At first, it was difficult for them to pick up the movement of the motion offense without the ball, but now they seem to be grasping it.”

At practice, Kidd is not lightly challenging her team. In practice on Monday, the Lady Blue Devils challenged the Blue Devils in a scrimmage.

This scrimmage helped show the players that if they run the offense properly then it will work, she said.

“We scrimmaged the boys yesterday, and I told them that if we run the plays according to how it is charted then we’ll get the looks offensively,” she said. “They saw in that scrimmage that if they move the ball then they do find the open shots. They just need to find that confidence in themselves.”

This year’s squad will be mixed with experience and youth.

As the Lady Blue Devils near the season, Kidd said she wants them to know that working together will bring the right results.

“We have four seniors coming back, and they just need to see that they can do it,” she said. “They need that confidence to see that if they work together then they’ll be successful. If our seniors and our young players come together then it will be easier for the team to find success.”

The Lady Blue Devils will open their season on Nov. 18 with a trip to Monroe County High School.