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Season hangs in balance for Peabody-Burns girls

Staff writer

There’s no guarantee Peabody-Burns will have a girls basketball team, but Josh Laney isn’t holding back in his preparations.

“I don’t do anything not all the way,” he said. “My philosophy will be implemented in and we’re going to play the way I coached for 15 years.”

Laney is making his return to coaching after a two-year hiatus, and it’s his first time heading a team at Peabody-Burns.

This season is a challenge for Laney, even with more than a decade of coaching experience.

Still unsure how many players will show up to any given practice, has worked to focus on aspects of the game that don’t depend on having a full team.

“I’ve run two practices with just two girls,” he said. “You just go with fundamentals. Coach Schafer did a good job, but I have a different way I do things, so you try to implement the things you do differently. The challenge is the unknown of who is going to be at practice today.”

Having a team isn’t just about this year, getting rid of the team also would make restarting the team even more difficult in 2021, Laney said.

Still, Laney is reveling in being back on the court.

“It felt kind of good to get the juices flowing again and make a practice plan,” he said. “But our goals will be just to play hard, look like a basketball team and that we know what we’re doing. You don’t come in and throw a bunch of sets in, stuff like that.”

One difficulty with school sports is training athletes to look beyond wins and losses, Laney said.

“Everybody wants to win, but how can you represent your community and your school?” Laney said. “Representing your community and school is by having a team and playing hard.”

One of the struggles with coaching a new team is that players aren’t acclimated to Laney’s styles, which he admits can be loud and expressive.

“You try to teach them that it’s the message, not the tone, and from there I think you can work it out,” he said. “I’m not going to change the way I do things. I’m full of heat, full of energy, and I’m older now.”

If the Warriors’ season continues as planned then their first game will be Dec. 15.

Last modified Dec. 10, 2020

 

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