Cody’s freshman girls basketball team includes players with a wide range of experience in the sport.
Coach Lael Beachler, a local surgeon, said there are some players who have played for years, while others are just getting started.
“A lot of it is teaching basic principles,” he said.
The main goal then is to make the experience enjoyable for all.
“The biggest thing is having a fun culture,” Beachler said.
The new coach is in charge of introducing his players to high school basketball as he himself adjusts to coaching the high school game. Beachler has coached youth basketball in the past.
Now he’s working to prepare his players for JV and varsity and the system of new head coach Chris Wagner.
The run-and-gun system is similar to one Wagner helped run as an assistant coach in Rock Springs and favors transition points and not letting the defense get comfortable.
“You read what the offense gives you,” Beachler said. “We have positions, but once the offense flows, that goes away.”
He said it works well for the makeup of his team, which doesn’t have any particularly tall players to take over the paint. There are enough freshmen to fill a squad, while a few other ninth-graders are playing up on JV and possibly varsity.
More importantly, it gets the freshmen prepared for the future.
“These girls are all going to be going up eventually,” Beachler said.
For now they’re working on getting a handle on the high school game.
“It’s a lot more competitive,” said Mykal Stone, who has played since age 10.
The competition is a big change at the high school level – not just the level of players the girls are competing against, but the wider array of schools.
“We have to work a lot harder than we did at middle school because it’s more competitive,” freshman Mia Beachler said.
Freshman girls basketball schedule
Dec. 17 - Cody vs. Rocky Mountain, 5 p.m.
Dec. 20 - Lovell Invite, TBA
Dec. 21 - Lovell Invite, TBA
Jan. 6 - Cody at Powell, 5 p.m.
Jan. 9 - Cody vs. St. Stephens, 5 p.m.
Jan. 14 - Cody vs. Burlington, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 18 - Cody at Riverton, 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 21 - Cody vs. Worland, 5 p.m.
Jan. 23 - Cody at Lovell, 5 p.m.
Jan. 28 - Cody at Greybull, 6:15 p.m.
Feb. 1 - Cody vs. Buffalo, 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 - Cody vs. Star Valley, 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 - Cody vs. Jackson, 11 a.m.
Feb. 14 - Cody at Evanston, 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 15 - Cody at Green River, 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 18 - Cody vs. Powell, 5 p.m.
Feb. 21 - Cody at Meeteetse, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 22 - Worland Tournament, TBA
Feb. 25 - Cody at Worland, 5 p.m.
Feb. 29 - Cody vs. Riverton, 1:30 p.m.