Perryville girls head coach Angela Fulton has been with the program, just not at this level. Fulton will take over the Lady Pirates from Coach DJ Goodson, but she has a familiarity with the players before the season even began. She was the eighth grade coach, and helped out with last year’s team on an advisory capacity. She will take over a team that went 6-20 last season but returns 11 upperclassmen including five seniors.
“They have been really accepting of me,” Fulton said. “They could have been real receptive to what I’m trying to do here and they are just phenomenal people.”
The Pirates will have to replace Jasmyn Mahathath, as the lone starter to graduate. The Lady Pirates have the pieces to do that.
Junior Sydney Spears will start at point guard this season, and Maci Hotop and Kirsten Stief are adapting to playing on the wing. Stief averaged 10 points per game as a sophomore one year ago Brooke Buerck will also return to the post, along with Mia Kurre. But the most crucial part of the Lady Pirates success this season will be how well they adapt to Fulton’s new match-up zone concept.
“We will focus a lot more on the defensive end this season,” Fulton said. “We hope to have a lot of steals and convert this steals on the other end into points. But this isn’t a defense you can learn overnight, or in a season. This is a process that takes years to learn.”
Fulton will try to use their strengths on the offensive end to compete and put up some points.
“We have Sydney at point guard, who is tall and something not a lot of teams have in terms of height at that spot. Maci is a tall wing. We have a lot of height in places that most teams don’t, which is a strength for us.”
But as the Lady Pirates begin a season in a program that hasn’t experienced much success in recent years , Fulton is instilling in the team a will to compete on a nightly basis.
“Success is not defined by wins and losses,” Fulton said. “It is defined by hard work and playing together as a team. High school sports are suppose to be fun and a learning experience. If we are competing and going out there and playing hard every night and we still lose than I’ll take that.”