KINGSTON — When coach Chad Rumer looks at his Kingston Lady Redskins’ eight-win regular season and 1-3 record in the playoffs, he sees several things. Accomplishment. Effort. Potential.
That’s because the first-year coach saw these same players last summer, after the exit of several talented seniors. He saw them struggling to find themselves, and he saw the hard work they exhibited throughout the summer, the offseason and the regular season. He knows how far they’ve come.
“Even though the record didn’t show it, we got a lot better from October until now. You know when I came here, there were people who were saying, ‘Hey, you might not win a game this year,’” Rumer said. “So for us to get eight wins, and to keep consistently improving all year — I’m pretty proud of them.”
The Lady Redskins drew a home game for the Class 3A District Tournament, but that match was against the talented Marietta Lady Indians, who are headed for the Area 3 Tournament in Ada. The result was a 46-39 Marietta win in a game that was close throughout.
With their backs against the wall entering the Regional Tournament, also in Kingston, Rumor had stressed the importance of logging a win in the playoffs “to redeem ourselves” for the district loss. The Lady Redskins responded with a 46-45 win in a wire-to-wire heart-stopper.
“Any time you get a victory in the playoffs, it’s a big deal,” Rumer said. “I kind of look at the regular season as the pre-season, and you try to learn, and improve and get better, and then apply everything you’ve learned in the playoffs. I think that win gives us something to build on.”
The Lady Redskins lose only one senior this year, which bodes well for future seasons. But Rumor said that lone graduating senior, forward Victoria Hodges, made a huge impact on the team.
“I think when a new coach comes in, it’s hardest on the seniors,” Rumor said. “It’s very easy for them to say, ‘Hey I only have to be with this guy for three or four months.’ But Victoria totally bought into everything we were doing — she was enthusiastic and she just showed us every day that she wanted to be here. I thank her personally for that, and the extra effort she brought to the team.”