Last year's team relied on a small group of girls. This year, Thomson girls' basketball coach Eric Rogers is happy to have a deep bench and some talented young players.
"I feel more comfortable, better this year than we did last year for sure as far as having seven, eight, nine players that I feel comfortable with that can do the job," he said. "That's a better feeling."
Coach Rogers' team from last year lost Kia Boutry who averaged over 11 points per game. He called her a "natural ball player" that would be missed this year. But he added that several young players are poised to take up the slack.
Shannon Williams returns after averaging 11 points in her starting role last year. Kim Johnson is a returning starter who should provide rebounds and scoring inside. Nikoshia Hudson also returns at point guard.
The real added depth, though, comes from the freshmen class, which includes two of the team's three six-footers.
"They should definitely help us inside with the region teams that we play, Hephzibah and Cross Creek who have big girls all the time it seems like," Coach Rogers said, adding that the team is taller over all from last year.
He said even with the height and skill, the team can't count anybody out in region play. Tough teams like the Lady Rebels, the Lady Razorbacks as well as Glenn Hills will all be extremely competitive.
"You have to come ready to play every night because you know what happens when you don't," Coach Rogers said.
His goal for the team is to simply have a shot at winning every game, and he thinks the added depth will definitely help achieve that goal.
"I expect us to be competitive, night in and night out. That's our main goal, to be in every game" he said. "With this group of kids I think we have a very good opportunity to do that."
Another thing Coach Rogers wants to see improvement on this year is game attendance. He said the team is looking for fan support to help cheer them on, especially at home.
The season begins with a six-game home stand. The season opener is on Nov. 29 against Elbert County.