Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fox Tech's Winning Ways

The young ladies at Fox Tech have won four games in district play! They also have lost four games, but that is no surprise since the Lady Buffaloes have been synonymous with losing. That is until a "new sheriff came to town, and she goes by the name of Anissa Hastings" ( Sorry for the "Name that Movie" moment).

Coach Hastings is not accustomed to failing. She was an All-State performer at Sam Houston before going on to start at the University of Texas. Her brief pro career was cut short by a knee injury. Hastings decided to come back to San Antonio and start from the bottom. Fox Tech was the definitely the bottom.

The Lady Buffaloes went winless in two previous seasons. WINLESS! Even upstart programs(see Johnson) find a few teams to beat on, just to earn a couple of wins before going into district play. Fox Tech was that "pad your record" team, up until now. Coach Hastings is putting a stop to that.

The Lady Buffs have won 4 out of their last 7 games. Most telling, is the games against Jefferson High School. The first game against Jefferson had the Lady Buffs on the wrong side of a 66 to 48 defeat. A few weeks later, the Lady Buffs turned the tables and earned a 54 to 33 victory. The 39 point turn-around is indicative of Coach Hastings' determination.

Hastings is a tough and demanding coach to play for. She expects success. She inspires. She is very vocal and intense. These are some of the attributes that made her a standout basketball player, and the same things that are making her a wonderful coach. She treats her players as though they were playing for a tradition that is expected to win. She refuses to let them make excuses and look for a way out.Hastings is a coach for TeamXpress in the summer. She can be seen as a role model and mentor for some of the very best players in the city. They understand that they want to go where she has already been. The unique thing about Hastings is that, she coaches her Lady Buffs the same way she coaches the TeamXpress players that are nationally recognized and much sought after.She and her dedicated staff, expected their high school players to run bleachers and train themselves over the summer, where temperatures and humidity were horrible. She encouraged her girls to find capable skills coaches and play in open gyms. She expected her returning players to push the underclassmen during unsupervised summer sessions. One of the leaders, Anna Macias, would attend morning sessions at the track, go help her father in his restaurant business, and then return to evening sessions of skills work. Consequently, Macias is among the city leaders in scoring(9th) and rebounds(5th). This dedication and hard work is something that Hastings inspires. As hard as she is on her players, her players know that she will fight for them with the same intensity. It is no surprise that the Fox Tech program is going in a new direction.