The Lady Falcons enter the 2017-18 season with great expectations after last season making the USCAA Division I National Tournament for the first time in school history. David Wadlington, the Lady Falcons assistant coach for the last two years has taken over as head coach. Wadlington has nine returning players and recruited seven newcomers to the mix this season.
Leading the way for the Lady Falcons will be leading scorer, Toni Cox. Cox, who has been named a USCAA Division I All-American the last two seasons, led the team in scoring at 15.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game last season. "She is definitely our go to player in the post. We expect Toni to have a great year and look forward to her making great strides this season in helping us make another run to the National Tournament," said head coach David Wadlington.
Another player who Wadlington feels will play a major role and has made much improvement from last season is senior forward, Keaundra Ivory. "Keaundra came to us mid-season last year and had to learn our system very quick. She saw her ups and downs, but this year she is in much better condition and has been very active on both ends of the floor, "says Wadlington. Last season Ivory averaged 5.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Also looking to contribute to the guard positions are junior Keri Milsap and senior Saje Schlatterer. Both players saw significant minutes last season and played major roles. Each of these players will be looked upon to lead the team at the point guard position. Milsap, is the second returning leading scorer from last season at 8.3 points per game. Schlatterer, who has been named a team captain this season will likely start at point guard while Milsap starts at the two-guard position. Schlatterer averaged 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season.
Other key returning players include junior forward Colyn Springer, who has been named a team captain along with Saje Schlatterer. Senior guard Shelby Walker, one of the top defensive players on the team returns for her senior campaign. Also post players Bryanna Hammonds-Peeples and Courtney Brown add size to the Lady Falcons frontcourt. Also junior guard/forward Arianna Tankersley has been showing much improvement and could see significant minutes as she continues to improve her game.
The addition of seven newcomers to the team this season will add guard and post play this season. Early in the season, look for Clearwater High School product, freshman guard/forward Lexie McDuffy, junior guard Sarah Lutz, and NCAA II transfer, sophomore guard Bailey Foote to receive minutes this season. In addition, freshman frontcourt players Brianna Rogers, Bailey Milligan, Angela Armstrong, and guard Stephanee Velez add to the new additions and could break into the mix with continued work and improvement.
The Lady Falcons open the season with four of five opponents who are members of the NAIA Division I & II levels. The season opener will be the Florida College Classic on November 3-4. The schedule consist of 28 regular season games, which includes 15 games at home. This season the Lady Falcons will have dual membership at the USCAA and NAIA level. At the USCAA level, the Lady Falcons will be able to compete for post-season play, but being a first time member of the NAIA level they will have to sit out post-season play this calendar year. In the 2018-19 season, the Lady Falcons will be an active member of the NAIA and Southern States Athletic Conference.