By Dana Harding (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Hollister girls basketball program will have a new face on the bench this season.
Jimmy Lincoln begins his first year at the helm of the Lady Tigers.
A 22-year veteran, Lincoln coached the past two seasons in Arkansas at Omaha High School.
His first order of business will be rebuilding a program that went 6-19 last season, falling to Class 3 state champion Strafford in the district tournament.
“I’m very excited about our upcoming season, even though the team had a very rough 2017-18 season,” Lincon said. “As a first year coach, I am looking forward to working with and implementing a new philosophy into the program.”
Three graduated seniors depart the program, taking with them 85% of the scoring and team-leading rebounders.
Raven Ross will play volleyball at Park University, Alexa Bekemeir will continue her Track & Field career at Central Methodist University) and K.K. Thomas is set to play softball for North Arkansas College.
Hollister returns a pair of starters in 5-foot-7 senior Maddy Frenzel and 5-foot-9 sophomore Nesa Clarida.
“Maddy returns as a leading scorer for Hollister,” Lincoln said. “She is the top defender on the team and is a captain with experience. Nesa started early as a freshman. She’s a hard worker with drive for success.”
The Lady Tigers also return a trio of lettermen in 5-foot-9 senior Taylor Sellers, 5-foot-7 senior Beca Clarida and 5-foot-4 junior Cheyann Coffelt.
“With only three seniors and two juniors returning, we will be a young and inexperienced team; however, these younger players bring a lot of enthusiasm and fun to the team, and make everything exciting,” Lincoln said.
A host of newcomers to the varsity roster will challenge for playing time, including 5-foot-6 sophomore Alivia Hackman, 5-foot-10 sophomore Kyla McClintic, 5-foot-4 sophomore Kendrick Bailey, 5-foot-5 sophomore Aubrey Henson, 5-foot-8 freshman Jacky Pyatt and 5-foot-7 freshman Mady Pyatt.
While new to Hollister, Lincoln enters a program with some pre-built chemistry bonuses.
Three sets of sisters will suit up for the Lady Tigers this season — Maddy and Shyannah Frenzel; Beca and Nesa Clarida; and Jackie and Mady Pyatt.
Maddy Frenzel considers the multi-sister pairs to be a big benefit for the team heading into the season.
“Our team will have much better leadership this year compared to the past,” Frenzel said. “I really do think that our team chemistry will be the key to a winning record. Having a well-rounded group of athletes who are willing to cooperate is so important in team sports – and I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to finish my senior year strong with these girls.”
For Hollister to improve on last season’s record, it must navigate a difficult Big 8 Conference schedule.
Lincoln believes his team will be well-prepared for the task at hand.
“The girls are looking forward to the up-tempo style of playing and trying to get as many offensive possessions and shots in as possible,” Lincoln said. “We will rely on sophomores and freshmen to the bulk of our scoring. The Big 8 Conference will be very challenging, and we hope to compete.”
Hollister opens its season Nov. 11 against Ava.