So far, Eric Woods’ transition to head basketball coach for the Marshall Lady Mavs has been a smooth one.
“The girls have been very welcoming to me,” Woods said. “I’m enjoying getting to know them and hopefully we’ll have a good season.”
Woods inherited a team with three seniors — Maycee Griffin, Armani Phillips, Heaven Woolen.
Woods, who most recently coached boys basketball at Round Rock Christian Academy, replaced Garron Green as the Lady Mavs head coach. Green left Marshall this past May after two seasons to become the new girls head basketball coach of the Lakeview Centennial Lady Patriots in Garland.
“I think each one brings something different to the table,” Woods said of the three of them. “Maycee brings the most experience. She’s great. The girls really like her and we can always count on her to show up. She has been awesome.
“Armani is dedicated to help the team on and off the court. She finds different and creative ways to help as a leader but overall, she’s a great person and is a true asset to the team.
“Heaven has been here multiple years. She’s a great person too. She may not be the most talented but her work ethic is vital and extremely valuable. She’s always going to work hard day in and day out. I’m very pleased with where they are and where they’re capable of leading our team.”
Other returners for the Lady Mavs varsity squad are juniors Katelynn Jones, Jordan Terry and Kamryn Turner.
The Lady Mavs currently hold a record of 2-2 and Woods said he hopes the experience of non-district will help prepare his team for district play.
“It’s a tough district,” Woods said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us. Jacksonville, Lufkin, John Tyler, they’re all good. There will be no easy games in our district. We just have to work hard at it and compete for a district championship.”
Woods said he hopes to help teach his team about more than just what happens on the hardwood as he has made the acronym “SAUCE,” which stands for Sacrifice, Accountability, Unity, Commitment, Energy,” its team motto for this season, applying it to both on and off the court.
“If the only thing they learn from me is basketball, then I’ve failed them,” Woods said, adding that his team will look for opportunities to serve in the community.
The Lady Mavs are slated to return to action Monday when they go up against the Longview Lady Lobos at 1:30 p.m. on the road. Their next home game is slated for Friday, Dec. 13 when they play host the Henderson Lady Lions.
That will be the Lady Mavs’ final game before starting up district play as they will be home that following Tuesday night, Dec. 17, when they play host to the Nacogdoches Lady Dragons in the district opener.