Lady Dragons eye first-ever state appearance

Posted Monday, Aug. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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When he arrived at Carroll five years, Arthur Stanfield brought a strong history of success with him with his time at Red Oak.

What he had to do was vanquish the country club atmosphere that he believed infiltrated its way into this program. While Carroll had its share of success, it really didn’t compare to what other programs – football and swimming – were doing. In year four, Carroll enjoyed its best year ever at any classification level when it played in the Class 5A Region I tournament in Glen Rose.

The Lady Dragons finished 47-4 but lost a tough match to Colleyville Heritage in the semifinals. Now, the goal is to get beyond Glen Rose – site of the 2013 Region I tournament – and find a way to reach the state tournament in Garland for the first time in school history.

Even with his pattern of success, Stanfield is one to adjust. When Carroll entered the offseason last fall, the pattern also changed. He wanted a stronger team and one that could battle and be better at sustaining rallies. Stanfield worked with the football coaches to re-structure the weight training program. Call it an overhaul.

“Aaron Lineweaver basically took over the program,” Stanfield said. “Part of all of this is mental. You have to believe you’re getting stronger and that you can do this.”

The Lady Dragons have four Division I commits on this team and have the balance in the front court and defensively to drive toward a title. They likely will be the District 4-5A favorite.

“I think we’re improving as a program, especially with our athleticism,” Stanfield said. “We’re still not a tall team, but each year we’re getting better athletes into the program. If we don’t get to Glen Rose, that would be a disappointment.”

2013 Lady Dragons

Coach: Arthur Stanfield (fifth season)

2012: 47-4 (14-0 in District 4-5A, lost to Colleyville Heritage in Region I semifinals)

Key returners: Christen Sikora, Sr. OH; Cat McCoy, Sr. L; Timarie Nymeyer, Sr. MB; Kori Ortiz, Sr. L; Avery Alexander, Sr. S; Katie Martin, Sr. OH

Key losses: Matty McCullough, S; Taylor Grunewald, MB

Notable: Carroll begins the season today at League City Clear Falls … this team is loaded with college talent. McCoy is verbally committed to Texas. Ortiz is committed to Arkansas. Sikora is committed to Furman. Nymeyer is committed to Northern Colorado. Martin is committed to St. Edwards.

Carroll carries a 33-game district winning streak into this season. That goes back to 2010 … The Lady Dragons have a pretty impressive move in from Aledo in Micah Wilson. The junior outside hitter was a two-year starter and helped the Lady Kats reach the Class 4A state championship game. However, Stanfield may look to play her either at defensive specialist or on the right side.

Sikora should lead six very capable hitters. Each has the ability to terminate balls … freshman Haley Hallgren should get her share of playing time because she can contribute as a hitter and setter. Hallgren has won two national beach titles. Stanfield originally thought she would start on the junior varsity but changed his mind because of her versatility.

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