WINONA LAKE – Ty Propp admits he’s anxious, excited, apprehensive, just to name a few emotions, for tonight to arrive.
That’s when the first-year coach of the Lakeland Christian Academy girls basketball team will get to see his team perform for real.
The Cougars host Northfield in their season opener this evening. The game for LCA is also its first as a member program in the IHSAA.
“It will be good to get that first game under our belts,” said Propp, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Grace College women’s basketball team. “I need to take our enthusiasm and funnel it.
“We had a scrimmage Monday and there were moments of brilliance. The big thing is that I have a group of girls with great heart and they are on board. They are willing to do what we want them to and that’s going to be very beneficial to us.”
Propp knows there is work to be done. The Cougars finished 2-19 last season and top player Jo Boren is now playing at Grace College.
“A big focal point for us in the preseason has been on our conditioning,” Propp said. “I’m a big believer in a team being in good shape. I feel like we’re behind the eight-ball a little bit right now in terms of putting in offenses and defenses.
“But, this is a group that is very talented athletically. They are quick, aggressive and we have some size. We just need to play together as a team and play under control.”
The LCA varsity roster includes five seniors and three juniors. The senior class includes Emilee Catron, Frani Gerst, Jessica Goss, Alisa Gross and Megan Lang. The junior trio are Julianne Haines, Morgan Holsclaw and Hannah Remington.
“It’s going to take a team effort for us to be successful,” said Propp. “At this point, we don’t have one standout or go-to-player. I just want to see us play strong fundamental basketball.
“I want us to be known as a defensive team. I want us to be tenacious no matter who we play and take advantage of our opponent’s mistakes.”
LCA hosts Northfield tonight at 7:15 and entertains Michigan City Marquette Catholic on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip-off.