When the 2013-14 basketball season begins for the Velma-Alma Lady Comets, they will be led by a different, yet familiar face.
Current V-A boys head coach Kenny Bare, will be taking charge of the girls program as well, for the first time in seven years.
Bare is no stranger to the Lady Comets program though, having led them to back-to-back Class 2A State championships in 2001 and 2002.
“I’m excited to pick up the girls team,” Bare said. “We’re sad to see coach (Jerry) Garrett leave, but things like that happen in coaching. I really like this bunch of girls, and it’s less of a change for them overall. I’ve coached girls for a while here at Velma, so I’m ready to get back in the swing of things. These girls were one possession away from a state tournament, that’s pretty dang good. I just hope we can pick up where these girls left off last season, and I just want to keep it going.”
Bare added he’s ready to take on the challenges that come with coaching two teams in a season, along with having success on the court.
“The good thing is that you get two chances to win every night,” he said jokingly. “I’ve got good assistant coaches like Lacey Darity and she’ll be a huge part of the team. None of this would be possible without good assistants, and we’re going to have some great help on this team.”
Darity is also no stranger to Lady Comet basketball, having been apart of Bare’s success during his last run as head coach on the girls side. She also served as an assistant coach on the Lady Comets squad this season under Jerry Garrett.
“When Lacey played, she was such a competitor,” Bare said. “Her knowing the way I coach and the plays I call is a tremendous help. Plus she knows the girls from softball as well, so I think she is going to be very critical for us and our success this season.”
Teddi Southerland, Bita Humphreys, and Ariah Johnson will be among the players returning this season for the Lady Comets, all of whom are coming off standout seasons in 2012.
“I’m really excited about coach Bare leading us,” Johnson said. “The first year he came back and coached the girls last time he led them to a state title, and that’s what we’re gunning for my senior year. I’m looking forward to seeing how much better he can make me as a player.”
Southerland echoed her teammates thoughts, saying she’s looking forward to the experience of playing under Bare.
“I know coach Bare led the boys to the state tournament twice in a row, and I’m hoping he can help us do the same,” she said. “We want all want the same thing, and we’re after the same goal he is as well. We know what it takes to get to the state tournament, and I think coach Bare can give us that extra push we need.”