No one around the state of West Virginia was more excited for the 2020 high school girls basketball season to get underway than Kameron Hornsby
After years as an assistant, Hornsby was finally getting his shot as the head coach at Nicholas County.
Unfortunately for Hornsby, the pandemic made his first year memorable for the wrong reasons.
“I was never fortunate enough to have a full roster last year. I had 10 or 11 players come out last year and the most I had in any one night was seven kids,” Hornsby said. “All we could do was run plays and do some shooting drills. We couldn’t scrimmage and I really felt like that hurt us a lot last year.”
The Grizzlies played just six regular season games and even worse, Nicholas County was unable to compete in its postseason sectional tournament.
“Our sectional game was lost due to a positive Covid case on the team. We had to forfeit the sectional game due to quarantine,” Hornsby said.
The good news for the folks in Summersville is, Hornsby hasn’t lost any of his initial excitement. In fact, heading into 2021, he may be even more excited than a year ago.
“I am not only excited, I am really excited. We have 15 kids on the team and I pumped to have that many kids this year,” Hornsby said. “We are young again and I enjoy that so much. They get to learn a fresh new system and they can absorb it without distractions.”
While his time with his team was limited last year, Hornsby was still working to find ways to make his team better once the season started.
“I will be spicing things up a little bit this year,” Hornsby said. “I was out and about in the college world of basketball. I learned some different philosophy’s and we are going to use some of that.”
The Grizzlies will have several multi-sport athletes on the team this year including volleyball standout, Kelsi Foster. Foster was a force as a middle-blocker and Hornsby thinks she will also be a force in the low block.
“Kelsi is my only senior and she is extremely solid. When she is confident in herself, she is really, really good,” Hornsby said.
Anastin Hornsby is the coaches’ sister and gives him a quick shooter on the outside that should help free up double teams in the low post.
“Lilly Meadows is back after missing all of last year. She tore her ACL in practice and didn’t get to come out,” Hornsby explained. “Mason Stone is another key piece. She is an extremely athletic kid and Jenna Grose will help us a lot as well.”
“Our No. 1 strength is the fact that we are an athletic bunch and we can get up and down the floor. We are going to try and play fast. We want to push the ball and pressure the basketball.”
Hornsby also expects incoming freshman Adrian Truman to open some eyes, while Olivia Stone should see varsity minutes and contribute positively to the Grizzlies’ success. according to the coach.
While Nicholas County has been traditionally a post heavy team, it will be a little different this year.
“We are more guard heavy now. We still have post players that can play, but we have more athletic guards that allow us to get up and down the floor much quicker,” Hornsby said.
Provided they are not wiped again by pandemic issues, Hornsby feels his team has a chance to have a great season.
“My kids are fighters. They don’t give up on 50-50 balls and they play really hard,” Hornsby said. “The team is doing their part and following the guidelines so they hopefully can get a full season in this time.”