By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Give Shari Armour a volleyball standout, a swimmer and three softball players, and the second-year Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels Head Coach will give you her 2012-13 roster.
In addition to those players, Armour brings back three players with varsity experience to tackle Division II-A. After graduating post players Alyssa Jackson and current Dyersburg guard Julanne McCommon, Armour knew she needed to fill those voids and get more athletic.
“This year’s team is more athletic but we don’t know the game yet,” she acknowledged. “I have a freshman who has been swimming the last few years. She dropped basketball and now she’s coming in. She’s a true athlete.
“I have to have athletes,” Armour continued. “In my freshman class I have Taylor Beasley, all around athlete coming up. I have Allie Nafieh who will hopefully step up and play the three or four for us. Brooke Bridges will play two or three.”
Armour is hoping her athletic youth be meshed with her trio of seniors coming from the two-time State qualifying Lady Rebel Softball team, Audrey Bibb, Bayleigh Nale and Brooklyn Simpson.
“We’re going to depend on their mental aspect,” she said. “They are more mature.”
That trio will assist returning varsity players Brooke Creasy, Alexis Crumb and Virginia Moore with teaching the younger players about maturity. The returning players are all underclassmen but saw important minutes late season.
Moore ran the point guard position last year along with McCommon. This year she’ll be joined by Bethany Berger. The transfer from Nixon, Mo., already made her presence felt on the Lady Rebel Volleyball team.
“She’s going to be a strong No. 2,” Armour noted. “And she’s going to fill in the No. 1 position also. Then I have Hannah Quinn another transfer. She’s going to fill in the post position. She’s going to come in as a junior. She’s filling in Cortney’s shoes. She’s going to be our four position.”
Armour went on to describe Berger as a beast and a player who plays beyond her sophomore classification.
“We’re trying to fit the puzzle pieces together to make one big pretty picture,” she said. “My job right now is to teach fundamentals, getting us to know the game of basketball. How long has it been since a Rosemark team had 15 players?
“We’re getting the interest,” Armour added. “Right now I’m building the interest. Once we get interested, we can start building and forming our team into what we need to become.”
Armour said the projected top team in league will be Fayette Academy. The Jackson teams and squads closer to home will also be in the mix. If the Lady Rebels progress and the pieces fit, Armour said TRA could make some noise come February.
“If we step up and play and once we get going, we’re still young and immature,” she acknowledged. “We make those mistakes that we shouldn’t be making. But once the season gets going and we start progressing, we may slip up there and beat some of the top rank teams.
“Because we’re getting the players who are very athletic,” Amour concluded, “the ones who want to fight and want to win ready to fight and step up.”