Steve De Dent has been around the Hilliard Bradley High School girls basketball program for several seasons, but he made a big change during the offseason when he was named head coach, replacing Kathy Lindsey.
Now, there is no such word as 'can't.'
De Dent wants his players to look at things in a positive manner as the Jaguars look to improve on last season, when they finished 11-13 overall and placed third (7-5) in the OCC-Cardinal Division behind co-champions Dublin Scioto and Thomas Worthington (both 9-3).
"Coach De Dent is all about giving 110 percent all of the time, and he has a rule that there is no negativity," said Ashley Walls, a 5-foot-8 senior post player. "That means we aren't allowed to say 'can't' or 'won't' about anything anymore. But we're all used to him and we are having a lot of fun."
De Dent is just the second coach in program history. Lindsey retired after nine seasons with the Jaguars, compiling a 140-59 record that included three league championships (2015, 2016, 2017), two district titles (2011, 2015) and a regional runner-up finish in 2015.
De Dent was an assistant under Lindsey at both Davidson and Bradley, totaling 12 years. He also was a longtime boys coach, serving as an assistant at DeSales from 1983-87 and at Hilliard from 1987-91 before coaching Davidson, posting a 113-82 record in nine seasons. He also coached the boys team at Jonathan Alder from 2006-11.
"We're not really big, so we'll have to do a lot of things right," said De Dent, whose team opened Nov. 27 at home against Olentangy Liberty. "We're young, but we're excited about how hard the kids work.
"We had four seniors last year, and they led us. I think our girls work hard, and defensively we'll be OK. We'll have to stick together as a group, work with our skills and build the best team that we can."
The Jaguars return three starters in senior forward Jill Klepzig (5-7) and sophomore guards/forwards Carly Callahan (5-10) and Chloe Callahan (5-9). Senior guard Jaiden Bryant (5-6) also saw time as a starter last season.
"We all have a tight connection and we have great team chemistry. That's one of our strengths," Bryant said. "Everyone knows their role and gets along with one another. We should have a good year if we stick with it."
Junior Emily Marschausen will share point guard duties with the Callahan sisters.
"We're way ahead defensively more than offensively," De Dent said. "We're still trying to come up with an offensive identity. We need each kid to know their role and what they should or should not do."
Junior Madison Phillis (5-11, post player) and sophomores Eveyln Hess (5-10, post player) and Tori McClelland (5-7, forward) round out the roster.
"The pieces are there," said De Dent, whose team opens OCC-Cardinal play Friday, Nov. 30, at home against Worthington Kilbourne. "A lot of them still have to learn how to play at the varsity level. It's quicker than the j.v. or freshman levels. We have to make sure that they know their roles and what they need to do for us to be successful."
Athletes announce college decisions
Two student-athletes announced their college decisions Nov. 14.
Jaiden Bryant will play softball at Akron and Drew Donaldson will compete in baseball at Lake Erie College.
Nov. 27 -- at Olentangy Liberty
*Nov. 30 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne
*Dec. 4 -- at Darby
*Dec. 7 -- at Thomas Worthington
Dec. 11 -- at Marysville
*Dec. 14 -- vs. Olentangy Berlin
Dec. 15 -- vs. Davidson
*Dec. 21 -- vs. Dublin Jerome
Dec. 27 -- Grandview at Watterson Christmas Classic
Dec. 28 -- Cincinnati Seton at Watterson Christmas Classic
*Jan. 4 -- at Delaware
*Jan. 8 -- at Dublin Scioto
*Jan. 11 -- vs. Darby
Jan. 15 -- vs. Upper Arlington
*Jan. 18 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
*Jan. 22 -- at Worthington Kilbourne
*Jan. 25 -- at Olentangy Berlin
Jan. 26 -- at Teays Valley
*Feb. 1 -- vs. Delaware
Feb. 2 -- vs. DeSales
*Feb. 5 -- at Dublin Jerome
*Feb. 8 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley boys basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:
Dec. 4 -- At Teays Valley in opener
*Dec. 4 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Capri Lanes
Dec. 1 -- Olentangy Invitational