New Greenville girls coach ready for hoops season

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 1:16 pm on Monday, November 21, 2011

GREENVILLE - Monday was the first day high schools in Michigan could practice girls basketball. The Greenville Yellow Jackets didn’t waste any time in hitting the court.
In college fashion, the Yellow Jackets held a midnight madness and began practice at 12:01 a.m. Monday morning.

“The kids (varsity girls) had a good time with that,” Greenville coach Eric Nichols said. “We did a lot of goal setting and a lot focused on where we want to head. It was good.”

At the practice, the team set a goal of winning the O-K White Conference championship.

“It was a good start for us to focus on,” Nichols said. “It was good team bonding time. We played some fun games and the kids had to communicate. We will try to keep this as a tradition.”

Nichols is in his first year as coach of the Yellow Jackets. He last coached at the Central Montcalm varsity boys team.

“I’m excited to get back. It’s been a while since I coached here,” Nichols said. “Things change, people change.”

Nichols coach the Greenville girls varsity team for two years in 1993 and 1994.

The first three days of practice were for tryouts. Today will be the first day of practice with team rosters set for the regular season.

“We will look to keep 12-15 at each level,” Nichols said. “Varsity numbers will be down.”

Nichols said the first week of practice will be a chance go over what was learned this summer at camps and workouts.

“We really kind of stressed, offensively, spacing and ball movement,” he said. “Mostly, getting back to fundamentals.”

Nichols thinks the team’s goal is a reasonable one.

“I think we will contend for an O-K White title. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t,” he said. “We will have good senior leadership, our top two scorers back, top two rebounders back, a good nucleus of juniors and team chemistry.”

The Yellow Jackets will open the season Nov. 29 at home against Cedar Springs.

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