The landscape for the Richwood girls basketball team will look very different this year.
After graduating three prominent seniors from last year’s team, the Lumberjacks will have several new faces on the floor, as well as a new head coach.
Chris Mullins, a 1991 Richwood graduate, assumes the leadership role in his first-ever head coaching stint. Mullins played for the Lumberjacks under legendary head coach, John Estep Jr. and had helped out at the middle school the last three season.
“I am enjoying it so far. It’s been exciting and nervous at the same time,” Mullins said. “There have been a few sleepless nights, but we have had some really good practices so far.”
The challenges are clear for Mullins and his team this season with an extremely young group.
“We are mostly sophomores and freshmen, and we are very inexperienced. I’m new and we have a brand new system,” Mullins said. “The sophomore group we have didn’t see a lot of playing time last year because the team was senior heavy, but there are some athletes out there.”
Sophomores Carlee Dillard and Baylee Jarrett are cross-country standouts that will anchor the guard positions for Richwood.
The guard tandem will look to get the ball inside to fellow sophomore Addison Dudley who could be the Lumberjacks biggest offensive threat this year.
“Addison is quiet, but she plays really hard. She might have the best basketball instincts of all of them,” Mullins said “She knows how to freelance with back door cuts, or execute jab steps and pick-and-rolls. She picks stuff up quick.”
Adding depth in the paint will be Chloe Cox and Savanna Moose.
“That is where I played. I am big on playing with your back to the basket. Chloe and Savanna are picking up quick,” Mullins said. “It’s coming, it will just take some time.”
Mullins says freshman Alexis Keffer is another athlete that will help his team along with Lilli Bragg who may be the team’s best outside threat. Mullins’ daughter, Sophie Mullins will also see some minutes.
“We have started with the basics. Just trying to get one offensive set down, a defense, a couple of out of bounds plays and a press breaker,” Mullins said. “I have some speed and a little bit of height. We just have to get them to work together and trust each other.”
The first year coach says his team is a work in progress with everyone learning new principles. However, he is still confident the Lumberjacks can have a strong season.
“I think our first seven girls are pretty solid. I feel like we can be good team and be above .500. We just have to play together and believe in each other,” Mullins said. “We have to rebound and not give up second chance points or easy layups. We also have to take care of the ball and make our fouls shots. If we do that we can win some games. especially with the girls I have.”