by Staff Writer
Cornersville Middle School Lady Bulldogs (2006-2007)
Joy McMasters (2nd year)
Assistant: Sally Hobbs
Coach Joy McMasters hails from Pulaski, Tennessee where she played high school basketball at Giles County High School under Coach Billy Mayfield. McMasters played wing on the team that went to the State Tournament when she was a junior. Coach McMasters said, "Coach Mayfield taught us a work ethic of commitment and sacrifice."
After graduating from Giles County High School, Coach McMasters attended Martin Methodist College where she was coached by the former principle of Giles County High School, Joe Hardin. Coach McMasters said that when Coach Hardin left Giles County High School he asked her to go with him to Martin Methodist and play basketball for him. She was very appreciative of this gesture and was happy to go and play ball for Coach Hardin and get two years of college. "Coach Hardin was always a good role model", McMasters said, "He taught us to exhibit a great work ethic, on and off the court."
After her two years at Martin Methodist, McMasters attended U.T. Knoxville where she finalized her degree. Before coming to Cornersville, Coach McMasters was the Middle School Girl's Coach at Culleoka High School for six years. McMasters teaches high school Biology and Chemistry at Cornersville and said, "Cornersville is a great place to work and live. Principle Edens is a great man to work for and his work ethic filters down throughout the entire school. We have great administrative and parental support here at Cornersville and all the coaches get along well."
Coach McMasters and her squad are playing with heavy hearts to begin this season because assistant coach, Sally Hobbs is currently on a leave of absence because of a serious illness. McMasters stated, "Coach Hobbs is a true role model to this group and she is heavy on our hearts."
Outlook for the Season
Coach McMasters and her squad have high expectations for the season because of their success last year. She said, "We were invited to two State Tournaments last year, that is a first here, and we are very pleased." McMasters had her squad ready for the season by beginning practice for the upcoming season in the spring and many of her girls attended camps and played AAU ball for teams coached by David Fagan, Bethany Whitson, and Gina Johnson.
McMasters said, "These are a great bunch of kids. They are student athletes who are smart and get good grades." She added, "They all work very hard, have a great work ethic, and know how to win." Haley Fagan, Lindsey Dalton, and Amber Reeves are the glue that holds the team together and Dalton and Fagan had this to say about the Cornersville program and the upcoming season. "We have really good coaches and they make playing a lot of fun. We try to work hard for them and even when we get yelled at we know it is because they love us and want us to get better. We have a lot of good athletes on our team and even some seventh graders have stepped up; especially Makenzie Hopkins and Brittney Crowell. One of our starting post players broke her finger during a preseason scrimmage, but she's worked so hard and is already starting again. Hannah Hutson has really stepped up to help our team out a lot. We are looking forward to a great season against some competitive teams to get us ready for the next level".
Coach McMasters points out that the strengths on the team are having this strong nucleus of girls that help each other grow as people and players. "We also have great role players" McMasters said, "and we will play 10 or 11 kids in a game." She also likes her team quickness and their accuracy shooting the basketball. As far as weaknesses go, McMasters stated, "We need to work on our rebounding and ball handling, learn new defenses, and improve our overall knowledge of the game and that will come with experience."
The Cornersville Middle School girls basketball program is in good hands with a teacher and coach like Joy McMasters who has the experience to teach the game of basketball and the willingness to go the extra mile to "teach the game of life".