UNION — The Sims Middle School Lady Tigers basketball team — led by Coach Ruth Ann Pitt — have had success in the pre-season and in conference play.
The Sims Middle School Lady Tigers started their pre-season early this year, beginning practices in December, and they have won two pre-season games. They also won their first conference game last Thursday by defeating Granard Middle School 32-17.
“I am very proud of my girls this season,” said first-year coach Ruth Ann Pitt. “Each has worked very hard, and we are improving so much.”
In the win against Granard, Corenza Stewart and Likeyvia Land led the team with 11 points each. Stewart had five rebounds, and Land secured eight. Coach Pitt said Carmen Glenn played tough in the post, scoring six points and seven rebounds, and Jaymaye’ Jeter was a force to be reckoned with, leading the team in rebounds with 14.
Pitt said she is learning how much it takes to build a program.
“Even though I want to teach all of these girls all that I can about basketball — to prepare them for high school and then hopefully college — I hope they take so much more from playing for me than just that,” she said. “I want them to learn about teamwork, positive attitudes, perseverance, work ethic, and so much more. I want them to learn that you are a student-athlete, recognizing the emphasis on “student” first. So many of these girls have improved academically and behaviorally in the classroom since we started basketball. That is what I am most proud of.”
Pitt mentioned that she has big plans for her 7th grade players and hopes to get them involved in summer camps and summer workouts to improve during the off-season.
Pitt is a second-generation basketball coach, as her father — Coach Joe Pitt — was a high school head coach in Union for 22 years. She said she cannot express how special it has been to learn from him this year.
“I have learned so much from him this season,” she said. “He has helped with a few practices when his schedule allowed, but he helps behind the scenes too. I call him almost every day and we talk about each others practices and games. He gives me tips on things to try, and has taught me all of the plays that we run.”
Pitt said Sims Athletic Director/Head Football Coach/Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach Mitchell Moss has also taken her under his wing. Pitt said Moss has been “an absolute blessing,” not letting his busy schedule get in the way of helping out.
“I cannot count the times I’ve had to go to him with questions during planning or after school, and he’s been there each time willing to help,” she said.
Pitt also said she cannot say enough about the Sims staff as a whole.
“I am truly living my dream,” she said. “There is nothing else I’d rather do than teach and coach, and no place I’d rather do it other than Sims Middle School! Go Tigers!”
The Lady Tigers lost to McCracken in a close game Monday night with a final score of 24-15. They will go on the road tonight (Thursday, Dec. 17) to play Boiling Springs.
“We keep getting better with each game,” Pitt said. “These girls play tough and I could not be any more proud of them.”
Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-762-4128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.