Things are looking up for Timber Creek, Fossil Ridge

Posted Monday, Aug. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Last season wasn’t a good one for Keller Timber Creek, which finished tied for fifth in District 4-5A in 2012, or for Keller Fossil Ridge, which finished in seventh place.

But that was last year. With the Lady Falcons touting senior outside hitter Lauren Mills, an SMU commit, and the Lady Panthers under new management with head coach Jennifer Chandler, formerly of Mansfield Legacy, these programs look to have an upward trajectory in 2013.

Still, they play in a district crowded with talent, as they’ll have to face the likes of Southlake Carroll, Keller, Richland and Northwest to vie for a top-four spot and playoff berth.

2013 Lady Falcons

Coach: Catherine Reeves (4th season; 0 playoff appearances)

2012: Tied for 5th place in District 4-5A

Key returner: Senior OH Lauren Mills

Outlook: This one is for Mills, who has been a constant in Timber Creek’s young program … Timber Creek remains in search for its first playoff berth in school history and this should be the year for them to claim it with Mills, an SMU commit running the show… “We’re not going to have to go through any more step-ups or growing pains,” Reeves said. “We’re finally at a point now where we can get settled and develop our program and take that next step.”

Mills is an all-around standout, leading the team by example with natural talent … “Lauren is the best player on our team and because of that the kids just naturally look to her,” Reeves said. “I think they respect her as a player and her talent naturally lends itself into a leadership role on the court. She’s not the kind of leader who is really enthusiastic, but she’s the head and the brains of the team. She doesn’t panic. She plays so much and plays on a top club team in the area. I think the kids that don’t have that kind of experience naturally look to her.”

Timber Creek has progressed from winning less than five games its first season of varsity play to over 21 wins last season … They kick the season off next week, jumping headfirst into the Mansfield Tournament, which will quickly prepare Reeves’ team for the rigors of district play.

2013 Lady Panthers

Coach: Jennifer Chandler (1st season)

2012: 7th Place in District 4-5A

Key Returners: Soph. Setter/OH Tori Woogk; Senior MB Anna Hadley; Senior MB Kerrie Bourne

Outlook: The Fossil Ridge volleyball program as it has been known it is a thing of the past, according to new head coach Chandler, who moved over to Fossil Ridge from Mansfield Legacy … She said she did little research on the program’s past before beginning practice for this fall because it’s all a matter of looking forward. “I didn’t want to focus on what they did in the past,” Chandler said. “I want to focus on what we’re doing in the future. I came in with an open slate. I figured things out on my own from what I’ve seen so far in play and I’ve been able to apply our coaching philosophy from the beginning.”

Only a sophomore Woogk is the team’s leader and Chandler is already impressed with her ability to rally the troops. “She definitely leads by example through her outstanding work ethic,” Chandler said. “She’s ultra competitive. She is a natural leader and motivator with this group.”

Seniors Hadley and Bourne have quickly adapted to the new system, Chandler said, and will solidify the middle of the court for Fossil Ridge this year … Chandler, a resident of Keller even while she was at Legacy, took the job, saying she was excited to be a part of the community where she lives.

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