It’s a valuable lesson for the five freshmen who saw significant minutes for the Tigers this season, a group that will come back as sophomores with a season’s worth of experience.
Not joining them next year are the team’s three seniors. Taylor Ely, Chandler Coale and Becca Maeder will graduate in May, and all three left a mark on the program.
“When Taylor came here three years ago, she was just a shooter,” Copeland said. “She’s improved her game so much in three years. Her defense has improved and she can take defenders off the dribble. She has a bright future ahead of her. I thanked Becca for how important her role was on this team. She’s a senior who didn’t get a lot of minutes but worked hard in practice every day. She was a fantastic teammate.”
The final senior on the squad is Coale, daughter of Oklahoma women’s coach and former NHS coach Sherri Coale. Copeland said that coaching her in her final game was a special experience.
“Eighteen years ago, I was in my first job and her mom was pregnant with her,” Copeland said. “To coach her for the last three years and watch her grow as a player and a person was special for me. I felt like it came full circle.”
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