Tifton Gazette

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June 9, 2014

Lady Devils return from Tennessee

TIFTON —  Julie Conner was admittedly tired at the end of last week. Home from the end of a full four-day road trip with her Tift County Lady Devils basketball team to Dayton, Tenn., they arrived back in Tifton at 1 a.m. Thursday night.

They had been guests of Bryan College and the 2014 Girls Basketball Team Camp, an event that was sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

With assistant Erick Willis behind the wheel of the bus, the team not only saw different schools and a different state, there was also a chance to eye possibly new geographic features. "It was a chance for the girls to see the mountains," she said.

Of the competition, Conner said they went about .500, but the record was not her focus. "I was very pleased with how hard they worked," she said. The team played 16 varsity and junior varsity games over three days.

The team lost several key players from their sweet 16 team from 2013-14, but a short rebuilding period is expected. "I'm excited about the freshmen," she said. "They give it everything they've got." Several made the trip and a total of 27 players from all high school grades participated.

While "everyone had great moments," she added that "Dail [Adaway] did super, Audrey [McElhaney] did super" and said Vanity Golson, who battled injuries last year, also had a big camp.

While the trip was for experience, some decisions as to the program's future were made. Sky Moore and Moneisha Goldsborough were chosen as captains for the 2014-15 season.

She said the games were good experience for the team. "You can learn so many things when you travel." They were the only south Georgia program who attended, so it was a chance to not only see different schools, but Bryan College hosted some of the best.

Other than games and drills, they also experienced FCA activities, including devotionals. Among the camp's guest speakers was former Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball player Shanna Zolman, whom Conner described as "incredible."

"She talked on their level," she said. "It was a wonderful, uplifting experience."

Conner's week will again be busy. Though she will be staying much closer to home, starting today and running through Thursday, she — with the Lady Devils as assistants — will be running a basketball camp at J.T. Reddick for kids ages Pre-K through 6th. A second camp will take place July 8-10.

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