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Hall brings new energy to Tolar

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Tolar Lady Rattlers are hitting the reset button.

After an 0-14 district campaign last year, the Lady Rattlers brought in coach Michael Hall, who was an assistant at Mansfield Legacy, to lead the program.

The Lady Rattlers have a young group with promising talent, and Hall has set about creating an environment that will allow those players to grow.

“The focus this offseason has really been getting work done and really figuring out how to get better each day,” Hall said. “How we want to carry ourselves in our program behind our philosophy, how we want to play, and really simplifying everything to get really good at want we want to do well.”

Hall is the third coach the Tolar girls have had in the last three years, and he’s sought to bring a sense of stability to the program.

“From day one, we’ve been trying to build those relationships and show them that beyond the court we care about them as individuals,” he said. “We’ve poured a lot of time into how they’re doing in the classroom, how they’re doing at home, how their family’s doing.

“And it’s tough, because they look at you like a revolving door, as it’s been. But we’re trying to stabilize it with those relationships.”

The new staff also has to make sure its players are ready to compete.

“When we walk into the gym, we’re capabale against anybody who steps on the floor against us,” Hall said. “We’re setting the tone from the word go that we’re here, we belong.

So far those efforts have been working, according to the players. Senior Grace Jones, an All-District selection last year, was contemplating quitting basketball before the season.

“Coach Hall changed my mind,” she said. “I think we can be a lot better this year, with more team chemistry. Our practices are going to be better.”

“Coach Hall has shown a lot,” said Aubrie Sibley, the other senior on the team. “He’s showing us what he’s going to bring to the program.”

CAPITALIZE ON ATHLETICISM

The Lady Rattlers are an athletic bunch, and Hall hopes to use that athleticism to make opponents uncomfortable.

“We’re trying to use what we have, and here we have a lot of athleticism, so we’re trying not to stifle that,” he said. “We’re trying to push the tempo – ‘poised pace’ is the term I use.

“We really want to focus on being able to control tempo on both sides of the board.”

Hope Grivette will enter her sophomore year as the starting point guard, and she’s impressed her teammates in the offseason.

“Her ball-handling has gotten better,” Jones said. “When she was a freshman, her ball-handling was good, but she didn’t have the varsity experience of playing against Brock and Peaster, and I think her mindset is there now.”

“Last year she was kind of scared to handle the ball,” Sibley said. “We always talked to her, like, ‘believe in yourself you can do it.’

“She did that, and she’s been coming to open gym, and she’s been working her butt off.”

Sophomores Baili Deaver and Haylee Burt are also returning after spending their freshman season on varsity. Freshman Mia Fletcher and Shylar Nunley will start on varsity as well.

Tolar’s District 7-3A includes Brock, ranked No. 2 in the state in the preseason Texas Girls Coaches Association poll. Peaster is also tough in any year.

The Lady Rattlers’ first game is Nov. 12 at Dublin.

grant@hcnews.com | 817-573-7066 ext. 254

 

 

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