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Coming off a 16-15 season, the Madison Southern Lady Eagles will have many new faces, including a first-year coach. Despite the fresh faces, Coach Josh Curtis believes his squad will be ready once the season tips off.

“We did lose six seniors, but we return a lot of talent that is spread out over all of the classes,” Curtis said.

Curtis feels the mix of youth will mesh well with the returning upperclassmen to form a formidable team for anyone Southern faces.

“We have three great senior leaders in Samantha (Cornelison), Lacie (Parks), and Caylen (Conrad),” Curtis said. “Sam and Caylen have been around for a while, so they get how you’re supposed to act. I have been very impressed with Lacie Parks. She transferred here last year, and she has missed out on a lot of years of relationships with these girls.”

Barring a Covid interruption, Cornelison should become the school’s all-time leading scorer this season as she sits 358 points away from the record, Curtis said.

“Samantha has been a great leader since day one,” the coach said. “She is a kid who has been through many battles for many years and has seen it all. As a coach, you always want your leader to be an extension of you on the floor, and she is our coach on the floor. She communicates with the players on where they need to be and what they are doing wrong or right.”

Of course, Covid is on the minds of many, and Curtis said the team would take it day-by-day.

“I told them a month ago at our player meeting that I was better off giving them a copy of the schedule written in pencil,” Curtis said. “We have tried to make it clear to them that things are going to change daily and sometimes by the hour. They understand that nothing is set in stone. We can pout about it and get upset that practice or game gets canceled, or we can control one of the few controllables we have and have a good attitude about conquering the opportunities we will have to participate in together.”

As far as season goals, it’s simple, Curtis said.

“My goal for us is to be playing our best basketball come postseason time,” he said.

“If we can do that, then we can achieve a lot of goals that we all have set for ourselves.”

The Lady Eagles open the season on the road Nov. 24 against Franklin County.

Southern’s first home game is Dec. 1 against Lexington Catholic with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff time.

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