Being the defending conference champions, the North Decatur Chargers come into the season with a huge target on their backs.

“As defending conference champs, the other teams in the conference will be head hunting us,” said Charger coach Dennis Crowe.

“I told the girls in practice the other day that sometimes it is harder to defend a conference championship than it is to win one.”

Coach Crowe is starting his 16th year with the Chargers, and hopes to continue the team’s winning ways.

“We have a good team lined up. We got five starters who are well experienced in playing at the varsity level, as well as three juniors who played on the reserve team last year that I hope will step up and make us really competitive,” added Crowe.

The Chargers have three seniors returning to the line-up. They are Alison Lamb, Angela Gauck and Breanne Schoettmer. Crowe says he is looking to the three of them for leadership this season, and is pleased to see them stepping into the role already.

“I’m very pleased with the leadership Angela, Alison and Breanne have shown this early in the season. They are already stepping up and filling the roles of leaders very well,” said Crowe. “They are also serving as good role models for the players on the reserve teams as well.”

As far as playing goes, the Chargers will look much the same as they did last year. Down low the Chargers have the power play of Ashley Pulskamp, Hillary Wenning and Schoettmer who are all very strong underneath.

“Breanne needs to play more physical inside,” said Crowe.

But with those inside players, the Chargers will be able to dominate the inside game.

Outside, North has two strong shooters — Gauck and Lamb — who can hurt any team if the inside game isn’t working.

“Both Angela and Alison are very good from the outside,” added Crowe.

If the Chargers are ever in a game were the inside game is taken away, all they have to do is pass the ball outside, and the pair will take over the game.

For the season, the Chargers look to repeat the same accomplishments that they reached last year. They look to repeat as conference champs, as well as win their sectional and hopefully move deep in the tournament.

The Chargers open the season again this year against Eastern Hancock. This year, the Chargers with travel to take on the Royals and look to defeat them for the first time in the last three years.

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