For Belton, the learning won’t stop when the regular season begins Aug. 11 at Round Rock Stony Point.
While head coach Stacy Meyers said her team had a good turnout for offseason, with just one returning senior and four varsity returners, Belton will still be largely inexperienced when the regular season kicks off in two weeks.
“We’re going to be learning a lot,” Meyers said.
After losing six seniors from a playoff team last year, Belton will have four this year, but only one of them, multisport athlete McKenzie Robinson, has any varsity experience.
Belton also returns a trio of juniors with varsity experience, but even they are still maturing as players, Meyers said.
“They were young last year playing on varsity,” she said. “They’re still growing, too, learning a lot.”
The rest of the team, of course, will be playing varsity for the first time.
“There will be several,” Meyers said. “The four returners will be playing a lot. But, obviously, we have to have more than four who are playing.”
Because of that, Meyers and her staff are expecting a few bumps early in the season. And coaches aren’t keeping it a secret from the players.
“We tell them that, ‘We understand you guys are going to make mistakes, especially early on because you don’t have this experience and we’re just throwing you to the wolves.’
“That’s what our preseason’s for — lots of learning time.”
Meyers also said she hopes to see the team grow in the leadership department.
“We have a couple of girls who are really doing a good job leading right now, but we’ll see when the season gets going,” she said. “But (leadership is) something you really lose when you lose seniors.”
And while Myers said there may be lumps early in the season as Belton plays against top teams in prestigious tournaments, the steep learning curve may benefit the Lady Tigers in the long run, as they’re able to see how they’ve grown from the start of the regular season.
“We go to a couple of tournaments where we’re going to be playing some really good teams, so we may get blown out in some games (but) then it will be good for them to see that we can get better as the year progresses,” Meyers said.
“That’s a big confidence builder — seeing yourself progress as a team.”