MARIANNA, FL (WJHG/WECP) For some area Juco basketball teams it is time for a nice holiday break, and that includes the the Lady Indians of Chipola!
Coach Greg Franklin turning over a huge chunk of his roster after last season, more than the typical turnover in Juco ball, and yet he's guided this team to a 13-1 start. Just four of those games coming on the home floor. The rest coming on the road in places like Gainesville, Daytona, Miami, over at Northwest Florida, and at Gulf Coast, like this game here.
So much to be pleased about as the team settles into it's Christmas break.
"I've been really pleased. They bring it every single day." coach Franklin told me Tuesday afternoon. "They're growing as a group. Having ten newcomers to our program it has its obstacles. But I tell you what, we've pushed through a lot of different walls. Things have come up through the early season here that I thought our kids have showed a lot of character, a lot of maturity, a lot of poise, a lot of just toughness. Sometimes you worry about, being so young, if they're going to be tough enough."
As for taking more than a week off for Christmas, well coach Franklin says his players deserve a nice break and frankly, they need some time away from the gym.
"It's one of those times when they can just go home and charge the batteries back up." the coach says. "Get away from it for a little while. Hopefully they're mixing in some workouts. It's really important because from day one it's been a grind. And sometimes I'm not easy to live with if I don't get what I want. We push them pretty hard every single day. And every practice we try to simulate like we're playing in the national championship game. So yeah they needed to get away a little bit and recharge the batteries."
Franklin tells me the team is expected back on the 25th, and they will practice at 8 o'clock on Christmas night. The team will head down to Fort Myers for games on the 28th and 29th, and then prepare for the conference opener at Tallahassee January 4th.
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