Moving up in class was not a deterrent for Lady Dog cagers

Girls were the only team from Thorndale to make playoffs last year
Reporter Staff Writer

Olivia Atkins Olivia Atkins THORNDALE—Moving up a classification didn’t stop the Lady Dogs’ ability to make the postseason in 2010 and head coach Bradley Dickerson truly believes his team will be in the playoffs yet again.

Dickerson, in his 12th season at the helm, will also be looki ng for an extra special achievement this year, his 300th career victory.

He began the season with 296 wins, 272 have been at Thorndale.

The Lady Dogs finished second in District 27-2A and ended last season at 22-10 after a bi-district round loss to Hempstead.

“I think having success in 2A last year will definitely help,” Dickerson said. “ We weren’t satisfied with the end last year and thought we could have played a little longer, so we use that as motivation.”

Senior Katy Bransom, along with juniors Olivia Atkins and Marlene Hall are the only returning starters from last season’s team.

Alix Hoffman Alix Hoffman Hall and the 6-foot-5 Atkins were first team all-district selections last season, with Bransom earning an honorable mention nod.

Dickerson will rely heavily on them, along with juniors Heather Butterworth, Kristen Butterworth and Tamicka Cook and sophomore Alix Hoffman, all returners from last year’s team.

The 6-foot-1 Hoffman earned second team all- district honors last season, with Heather Butterworth getting honorable mention.

Newcomers include juniors Lizzie Marr, Shelbie Pausewang and Iris Leyendecker.

The team graduated just two seniors in Mirah Knapek and Margie Llana. Knapek was the district’s defensive MVP

“The biggest difference between this season and last season is instead of two seniors, six sophomores and one freshman, we are one senior, eight juniors and one sophomore. So our experience is much better,” Dickerson said. “I think having a couple of years under their belt makes them more confident. They know what to expect from me and the varsity level.”

Marlene Hall Marlene Hall Thorndale had claimed seven straight district titles in Class A, before the bump up to 2A in the 2010-11 season.

They even made a trip to the state tournament in 2008 during the Lady Dogs’ three consecutive trips to the Region IV tourney.

District 27- 2A will see the Lady Dogs joined by Cameron, Florence, Jarrell, Lago Vista, Lexington, Little River-Academy and Rogers.

“ Our distr ict w ill be deep again,” Dickerson said. “You have Jarrell returning most of their starters, along with Academy, Florence and Lago Vista.

“Rogers, Cameron and Lexington had big classes of seniors but still remain well-coached and talented. I think we will be in the mix though.”

Dickerson Dickerson Gettin’ started

The L ady Dogs’ sea son is already under way w ith w ins over Brentwood Christian and Caldwell last week.

They defeated Salado on the road Tuesday night.

The three wins put Dickerson just one victory away from his 300th career win. He could do it in front of the home crowd on Friday when the Lady Dogs begin the season’s home stance as they host Franklin.

Thorndale will host Granger on Monday, Nov. 21 before taking a break over the Thanksgiving holidays.


Coach: Bradley Dickerson (12th season, 272-111, 14th overall 296-144) 2010 record: 22-10 District record: 10-4 (3rd) Returning starters: 3 Key returnees: 5- 6 Sr. Katy Bransom, 5-2 Jr. Marlene Hall, 5-9 Jr. 6-1 So. Alix Hoffman, Tamicka Cook, 6-5 Jr. Olivia Atkins, 5-9 Jr. Heather Butterworth, 5-4 Jr. Kristen Butterworth, 5-2 Jr. Shelbie Maupin. District outlook: 2nd Last playoff appearance: 2011 Last district championship: 2010

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