By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Aspen Healy is preparing for her fourth year of coaching at Del City High School.
And she knows it’s a special one.
Healy has a strong connection with this year’s senior class, which she has been working with all four years.
“This is the first group that I started with, and it makes me excited to see them as seniors,” she said.
That group includes seniors Annette Cox, Ayah Hammoud and Jazmyne Thorne who have all played varsity since they were freshman.
“We’ve been improving every year, but I feel like this year we’ve added some really good new players that can help us,” Cox said.
Healy believes a key part of their progress is building a culture. She’s been impressed with the team’s work ethic and steady improvement this offseason.
“They work hard and the kids that want to be here are here,” she said. “This is only our first week of practice, but I’m really impressed with the team.”
Continued success will be dependent on working together and staying positive through tough situations.
“We need good communication, good teamwork and we need everyone to be involved,” Hammoud said.
The Eagles should be solid up front with Cox, Thorne, and junior Shelby Thornton. Thorne and Thornton have great size and Cox is one of the team’s most experienced players. Hammoud will help on the back row as a defensive specialist.
Thornton is a three-sport athlete at Del City. She plays basketball in the winter and track in the spring, along with volleyball. This year, she is working to improve her volleyball skills and college opportunities by playing club volleyball.
“Club volleyball is so much more intense, and everyone has a job to do. My job was to block because of how tall I am,” Thornton said. “I improved and got faster and better at serving. I’m trying to bring that to our team.”
Healy says her goal is steady improvement on and off the court. She wants her team to represent their school well by winning and through good sportsmanship.
“Hopefully our girls will improve throughout the year and become better athletes, better players and better people,” she said.
Del City will open the season Aug. 10 against Noble.