Van-Far Lady Indians basketball team. Front row, from left: Abilene Gatson, Breanna Strange, Annaliese Hubert, and Daisja DeJesus. Second row: Chevi Windland, Haven Atkinson, Brooke Johnson, Ciara Craven, and Kayelee Harrower. Back row: Coach Kelly Orf, Hailey Hopke, Autumn Sutton, Alexis DeTienne, Naija Jackson, Renee Nelson, Jayda Borgmeyer, Abbi Kuda, Abbey Robinson, Janie Swarthout, and Coach Kylie Epperson.
The Lady Indians are under new management, as former coach Sarah Simmons (Asbury) transferred to Community R-VI. Now Coach Kelly Orf has moved into the head coach’s position. Working as the assistant coach last year has allowed for an easy transition into her new role.
“This year, a big strength of ours is that we are working very well as a team. After a really rough season last year, all of the girls, Coach Epperson, and myself have come back this season looking on the bright side of things. We all realize that we can only get better,” said head coach Kelly Orf. “I’m really proud of the girls for getting in the weight room this summer, coming to shoot-outs, and coming back this season with positive attitudes.”
The Lady Indians basketball team and coaches will also be depending heavily on their five returning starters: point guard, Ciara Craven; forward, Brooke Johnson; guard, Annaliese Hubert; guard, Breanna Strange; and forward, Renee Nelson.
“I have high hopes for these young ladies this season. I have put a lot of responsibility on our returning seniors this season to be leaders and to help push the team to be better, and Coach Epperson and myself know that they will succeed,” Orf said.
Last season, Ciara Craven was the only girls player to receive conference honors. Craven was named to the second team, All-EMO Conference.
“Our biggest weakness that we still struggle with is our mental toughness. This is a big aspect of any sport, and it is something that we as a team have been working on since last year.
The Lady Indians’ basketball went into the playoffs as the 8th seed, but were defeated by the Silex Lady Owls, 85-16.
“I am really looking forward to this season. We have a great group of girls out and a great group returning. I have a wonderful assistant coach Kylie Epperson. Her and I work really well together and we both have high expectations of the girls and will do everything we can to help them succeed this season,” Orf said. “As a team “know that every little thing counts and we have to play hard, practice hard, go after every ball, and most importantly keep our heads up. Our seniors came up with our motto this year “play hard, play smart, play together” and that is exactly what we plan to do.”