By Rodney Hays
New Lady Eagle basketball coach Trey Rachal has taken the reins at Prosper High School and believes his team can be competitive this season.
This is Rachal’s first year as a head coach and ninth year overall. He spent seven years at Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe High School before coming to Prosper last year as an assistant for the Lady Eagles.
"My basketball philosophy is all about the defensive end," Rachal said. "There is no guarantee that we are going to hit shots every night, but as a team, we can always show up and defend. If we will work hard on defense and control the defensive glass, we will be in every game we play. I look for us to be very competitive this season. I see us being right in the middle of the battle to make the playoffs."
The Lady Eagles are young this season with only one senior, Bekah Arrendondo. Rachal said that Arrendondo is a great leader for the younger players. "She sets an example of how to do things the right way."
Arrendondo said the coaches are pushing the girls to be their best on and off the court. She also believes that the Lady Eagles will be in the thick of the playoff hunt at the end of the season.
"By working hard in practice and playing tough opponents in preseason we are planning to make a playoff appearance this year," she said.
Junior Logan Lantz also thinks the Lady Eagles hard work will pay off.
"This season we are playoff bound," Lantz said. "After countless hours this team has put in, we expect successful results. We are in the gym together almost every day growing and improving."
Rachal said that the team will also get some help from a move-in from Princeton, Skylar Brooks. "She is a very skilled shooter, and intelligent. Being the daughter of a coach, she brings a knowledge of the game that is vital to our team," he said.
The Lady Eagles will also welcome back junior Kandyce Freeman, who is returning from the state runner-up Lady Eagles volleyball team. Rachal said Freeman is the "anchor of our team."
"At 5’11" she controls the paint and battles hard on the glass. She was an honorable mention All-district player as a sophomore last year, and I look for great improvement from her in her junior year," he said.
The coach said his main goal is for the team to improve each day. And with a little hard work put it during practice sessions, Rachal believes his team can reach the postseason.
"Our main goal is to get better every day. But a tangible goal for this team is to make the playoffs. That achievement would show that this program is taking a step in the right direction," Rachal said. "We putting the time in to get better. Goals aren’t achieved by sitting back and hoping on them. We have to go out and seek out what we want."
The Lady Eagles are 2-7 on the season so far but hope that a tough pre-district schedule will pay off during the district race. Frisco Liberty should be a tough team, with an early 9-1 record. Frisco Centennial and Frisco Heritage are also playing well early.
"I expect a tough district that will be challenging yet helpful in preparing us to be a better team. If you can get out of this district, it shows that you can compete with anyone," he said. "It is an honor to get the opportunity to work in such a great district with amazing young people."
After missing out on tournament play last week because of the weather, the Lady Eagles will be back in action this week and were scheduled to start district play Tuesday night by hosting Frisco Heritage. On Friday, the Lady Eagles will travel to Centennial and next Tuesday to Wakeland.