The Alice Lloyd Lady Eagles are coming off a season in which they finished third in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletics Conference. Unfortunately, the squad stumbled down the stretch, losing their last three games of the season including their first round KIAC tournament game against Midway College.
Coach John Mills and the Lady Eagles have moved on to the 2014-15 campaign. ALC is expected to be one of the favorites again this season in the KIAC.
Perhaps the greatest indicator of how good the team will be immediately is how they will able to overcome the departure of Ariel Nickell and Courtney Crowder. Nickell was the complete package. The Tazewell, Tennessee native not only led the team in scoring, rebounds and steals but also became the all-time leading scorer in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletics Conference. Crowder was a tough on-ball defender and did the little things that don’t always show up in the box score.
“Nickell was a tremendous offensive weapon; she could score at will inside and over the four years, we really developed her perimeter game,” Mills explained. “She could put the ball on the floor and create offense. A lot of great players are great in one facet of the game. Ariel was an exceptional defender. She had the most steals on our team and the most charges taken. People don’t realize how active she was away from the ball. Ariel was a warrior. You don’t replace someone like that with one player. Crowder was our top defender and contributed majorly in a lot of games.”
Fortunately, Mills is not left with a bare cupboard, as he returns two time all-conference performer Carla Booth. Booth, a guard out of Warfield, KY, is entering her senior season and Coach Mills has lofty expectations for one of the premiere players in the league. The guard averaged 19.8 points and 5.4 assists last year.
“I am very optimistic about the upcoming season,” Mills said. “We bring Carla back for one last year and I feel she is going to accomplish tremendous things. In my opinion, she is the best player in the league.” The coach continued, “The big thing with Carla is to make sure she stays healthy. To her credit, she has worked tremendously hard in the offseason in the weight room, yet improved her quickness. Her strong suit, shooting, has gotten better. The biggest attribute we need out of her is senior leadership. We are a young team and she is one of only two seniors on the club. She must pick up even more of the leadership roles.”
To continue to contend for a title, however, the veteran coach knows that other members of the team will have to step up and make major contributions. “A lot of our success is going to depend on how the other players handle being in the spotlight,” the Eagle mentor stated. “I really like this bunch and have a good feeling being around them. They quickly learned to get along and really like each other. That is a huge part of building team chemistry.”
Booth is not the only one of the Eagles the coach has high expectations for as Mills is looking for continuous growth and progress out of Megan Jones (junior from Paintsville, Kentucky) and Amber Shepherd (sophomore from Hueysville, Kentucky). Both guards were key contributors last season and they will be counted on to produce timely baskets and assists in crucial situations.
Shepherd and Jones averaged 7.4 and 3.8 points per game respectively, but those numbers should improve this season.
One to definitely keep an eye on is rugged Morgan Chestnut. Chestnut spent virtually all of last season recuperating from a major injury and only played spot minutes. Mills believes that the team’s success will hinge significantly on the sophomore center from Manchester, Kentucky. Chestnut has “the skills, the athletic ability and the physical strength to dominate this league” according to her coach.
Tailor Morgan (sophomore guard from Granger, Tennessee) will return at full strength. Despite being plagued by a knee issue her freshman year, Morgan battled through it. She was reduced to a marginal role because of the injury but Mills says she will have a bigger impact on the game this season. The guard is renowned for her petite, yet stocky stature and immense speed: two qualities that can cause headaches for bigger and less agile guards on both ends of the court.
Carla McDaniel is the other senior on the Alice Lloyd roster. The senior forward from Sneedville, Tennessee took a sabbatical last season but was an underrated player for the Lady Eagles two years ago when ALC was one bucket away from reaching the KIAC title game.
“McDaniel rebounds the basketball really well and she can consistently hit shots around the basket,” her coach said.
Serena Nickell (junior forward from Tazewell, Tennessee), provides additional muscle and fight inside and has continued to improve each year. She is expected to make a solid contribution.
Emily Clonce (sophomore guard from London, Kentucky) appeared in 22 games as a freshman and has demonstrated potential to contribute more this year.
Noelle Banks (junior forward from Hindman, Kentucky) has been working hard and is a strong player on the inside.
As for the new players in the program, Mills is excited to see what they will bring to the table.
“I really like the new players that we have with the team. Bailey O’Bryan (freshman guard from Richmond, Kentucky) played for Madison Central high school in the eleventh region. In my opinion, it’s one of the toughest regions in this state. She went to two state tournaments and was the point guard on those teams. She is a very good floor leader and handles the ball extremely well; she pushes the ball in transition. Also, she is excellent passing the ball and is getting more comfortable shooting the ball on the perimeter. I think she can be a good defender as her career unfolds here.”
“Madison Reed (freshman guard from Salyersville, Kentucky) is a tremendous shooter of the basketball. The thing I love most about her is that she has a nose for the ball. When she or someone else shoots it, she knows where it is going to go and she can come up with it. That is a rare trait to have. I look for big things out of her as well.”
“Sara Robinson (freshman forward from Manchester, Kentucky) is long and athletic and is a great rebounder. She has a good mid-range game. She is a very active person and is always around the ball.
“Hayley Short (freshman guard from Hindman, Kentucky) is a quick, savvy guard that is a good shooter of the ball. She is very sound defensively and I feel she will improve as the year goes on.”
“Brook Martin (freshman guard from Hueysville,, Kentucky) is very solid putting it on the floor but we expect her to play a bigger role on the defensive end at this point of her career.”
In terms of personnel, the team is a little smaller but much quicker than a year ago. Expect the Lady Eagles to press and trap teams more often this year on the defensive end. Offensively, ALC led the country in three-point field goal percentage at approximately 37 percent. The Eagles mentor believes that number can be even better this season.
There is no doubting the impact that Coach Mills has had since he became ALC’s head coach. He has done an astounding job of getting the program to prominence and sustaining that high level of excellence.
“Coach Mills is a class act; what you see is what you get,” veteran guard Booth says. “He is a role model to us and he is always looking after us. He hasn’t had a losing record since he’s been here but we want to be that team that can get over the hump. We have been good but we want to take that next step. We want to do something that hasn’t been done here before and that is to win the conference title.”]]>
The Alice Lloyd women’s and men’s cross country team traveled to Midway, KY on Saturday, September 20th to participate in the Midway College Invitational race. A very strong field was in attendance, and the day was brisk but nice.
A total of 54 men’s runners and 51 women runner’s from various colleges comprised the field for the challenging 3.1 mile race and 5 mile race. The Lady Eagles were paced by junior Allison Holbrook (Hyden, KY) who completed the course with a time of 24:32. Junior Katie Hylton (Louisa; Lawrence Co.) finished in a time of 28:46. For the Eagles, freshman Chris Baker, the former marine from Bell County, finished in a time of 35:29. Several runners were unable to participate due to injuries.
“This was a very demanding race and the field was exceptionally strong,” commented Coach Gary Stepp. “We have a very young and inexperienced squad, so the opportunity of racing against this level of competition will only help prepare us for the upcoming tournament. Hopefully, we will have our injured runners back as well.”
The next meet will be on Saturday November 8th. Both squads will race in the KIAC Conference Tournament which will be held at Schenley Park in Pittsburg, Pa. The race begins at 12:00 pm.]]>
I recognize that each tomorrow is a gift. As Kevin Conroy said, “Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one’s journey is easy. It is how they handle it that makes people unique.” To be honest, I had no idea what true adversity was until I had to face it. At an early age, I began to notice that my mom was losing her hair. She was very tired, and often she had to go to the doctor. Soon I found out that Mom had cancer. The reason I had no idea was because Mom is the strongest person I know. She continued to go to work until she just couldn’t. Through God’s grace, Mom had surgery and treatments, and she was cured and returned to her passion – being a teacher. After that, I knew that she could face anything, that we could face anything together.
Little did we know that we would get the chance to put our strength to the test once again. Eight years ago, my dad collapsed at work. We received a phone call telling us that we needed to come and get him because he had a headache. When we arrived, he couldn’t walk so Mom took him straight to the hospital. The hospital told us that he had to go immediately to the University of Kentucky Hospital because he had had a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage. He would spend the next fourteen days in confined to a hospital bed. He tried to return to work until the neurologist explained that there was nothing they could do. Dad now suffers from partial paralysis, short term memory loss, anxiety, and depression, but he is a walking, talking miracle. Since Dad can no longer drive, we have learned to adjust our schedules accordingly to make things work, for we know how fortunate we are. We are blessed beyond measure; the doctors said that only ten percent of the people who suffer from a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage like Dad’s live. He now sees a family doctor, a neurologist, a counselor, a psychiatrist, a cardiologist, and a pulmonologist once a month. My Nina sits with him while my momma works and I go to school. With that being said, we still have him, and we are so thankful. We have just had to pitch in more, and I don’t mind one bit. I have been very fortunate to live in a home with both of my parents where I am cherished, loved, and supported.
Now that it is very important to make every dollar count, I have tried to help my family financially. I have always been a caregiver for Dad with Mom, but now I have had to really step up. This is not something Mom has asked of me, but I know they need my help. Before the age of sixteen, I babysat every day after school until nine o’clock at night to make sure that we had money to pay our bills. My senior year, I got a job at an insurance company. When the year was finished, I began working at a local pharmacy where I was able to begin pursuing my dream.
Now my dream continues at Alice Lloyd College, where I currently am a freshman. I perform my work study in the registrar’s office. To be able to attend this college and work in such a Christian‐filled environment is a blessing by its own right, but to me, it is so much more. As a first‐year college student from London, Kentucky, I was nervous about leaving home. Thankfully, Alice Lloyd has become my second home. The staff here have embraced me and shown me that they, too, believe in me, something I will never forget or overlook. I know people say that they are grateful, but I owe so much to those who contribute to this institution. It is your generosity that has enabled me to make my dreams come true, to make a difference, and to look to even better tomorrows. Ms. Lloyd faced adversity, but that did not stop her from typing those donation request letters with one finger. I want to become a pharmacist and help people like my daddy. I want to make a difference, and I will. After finishing my four years here, I want to go to the University of Kentucky and finish my pharmacy degree.
The scholarship I have received will help me be able to become a pharmacist. ALC is permitting me to work a twenty‐hour week instead of the typical ten hours most students work. Any monies that I receive will help pay the remaining balance of my room, board and fees. I want to assure you that I won’t let you down, and I will give back to people of Appalachia. I know someone believed in me, so I will believe in the folks here that I hold so close to my heart. Few in their life have been as blessed as I. I have faced adversity, emerged stronger, and am ready to improve my life and lives of others. I definitely inherited my Mom’s strong will and my Dad’s determination to never give up on life. Thank you for your support and for allowing me to make a difference.
Help us continue the work of Mrs. Alice Lloyd and countless others by giving to Alice Lloyd College! With gifts from people like you, we can continue to offer a high-quality education to the young people of Appalachia. Click here to make your gift today!]]>
On Saturday, October 11, 2014, Alice Lloyd College took a break from the usual Appalachia Day festivities to celebrate the induction of five former athletes into its Athletics Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place at the Grady Nutt Athletic Center on the College’s campus.
This year’s inductees were: Steve Miller of Magoffin Co., David Mollett of Mingo Co., WV, Tammy Oakes of Nashville, TN, John David Slone of Lexington, and Robert Wright of Ashcamp.
Steve Miller attended Alice Lloyd from 1987-1991 where he majored in education and served as a four-year member of the Eagles baseball team. He was the team’s closing pitcher his first two seasons, and was moved to starting pitcher his last two years. He demonstrated his mastery of the mound as he earned Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors. As a senior, he was chosen all-conference, and he also earned the Coaches Award that year as well. He was such a good athlete that he was used as a pinch runner in the games he did not pitch, and was one of the team leaders in stolen bases. Furthermore, he was named Academic All-American both his junior and senior years. He is considered one of the top closers and pitchers to ever wear the Eagles uniform.
He was accompanied by his wife, Mary Ann Miller, and his parents, Sammy and Sherry Miller.
Currently, Miller is employed by the Magoffin County Board of Education where he has served his community for the past twenty-three years as a teacher. He also serves as the literacy coach for all elementary schools in the county.
His plaque was presented by the president of Alice Lloyd College, Dr. Joe A. Stepp, his former coach and current Dean of Students, Mr. Scott Cornett, and the Director of Athletics, Mr. Gary D. Stepp.
David Mollett attended Alice Lloyd from 1981-1985 and received his degree in education. This gentlemen played basketball where he was a starter for several seasons. He was known for his rugged, hardnosed play on both ends.
His junior season was when his game began to soar as he led the club with over 9 rebounds per game, placing him at the top spot of the KIAC leaderboard. As a senior, he emerged as the league’s premier rebounder. Despite being just 6’4, he would consistently out-rebound taller men by using his incredible quickness and excellent timing to befuddle his opposition. At the end of his senior season, he finished not only at the top of the conference in rebounds per game, but earned a spot among the nation’s best with a staggering average of 11.1 rebounds per game. This single season mark has stood the test of time as no male athlete has surpassed that average over the last thirty years.
He was accompanied his wife, Judy, daughter, Heather Woods, son-in-law, Dustin Woods, daughter, Candice Setzer, son-in-law, John Setzer, grandson, Luke Setzer, sister-in-law, Sandy Mullins, and brother-in-law, Tim Mullins.
Currently, Mollett is employed by the Mingo County Board of Education where he has served his community for the past 28 years as a teacher at Kermit Elementary School.
His plaque was presented by his former coach and president of Alice Lloyd College, Dr. Joe A. Stepp, his former teammate and current Dean of Students, Mr. Scott Cornett, and his former teammate and current Director of Athletics, Mr. Gary D. Stepp.
Tammy Oakes attended Alice Lloyd from 1980-1982 just before the college became a four-year institution and received her associate’s degree in education. This lady played softball for two seasons, but left her mark as a starter on the Lady Eagles basketball squad. She was known for her play-making and leadership ability.
During her softball career, she was elected team captain both seasons and earned the Gold Glove Defensive Award. On the basketball court, however, is where she shone as she led the squad in assists. She was also among the leaders in steals and rebounds. She was selected to the KIAC All-Tournament team and received numerous awards in other tournaments as well. Her coach, Mr. Gary Gibson, said she was a true coach on the floor and was excellent at recognizing and making adjustments during ballgames. Additionally, she excelled in the classroom as she was a member of the Caney Creek Honor Society and was on the Dean’s List each semester. Furthermore, she received the Physical Education Award and graduated cum laude in 1982. It should come as no surprise that she later completed her degree and became the head women’s basketball coach at Alice Lloyd for two seasons. During that juncture, her teams compiled a 25-28 record and were known for their hard play.
Oakes was accompanied by her husband, Jim Oakes, and her sister and former ALC student, Tracey Parks. In addition, two of her best friends from her time at Alice Lloyd, Linda Squires and Kathy Belcher, were also present to share her honor.
Currently, Oakes resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where she serves her community as a Special Education teacher at Sylvan Park Paideia Elementary School.
Her plaque was presented by the president of Alice Lloyd College, Dr. Joe Stepp, the current women’s basketball coach, Mr. John Mills, and the Director of Athletics, Mr. Gary D. Stepp.
John David Slone attended ALC from 1994-1997. He was a vital three-year member of the Eagles basketball team as a power forward. He was known for his scoring ability and athleticism.
His accomplishments on the court were numerous. He shot over 40% from the three-point line during his final two seasons. He led the team in rounding his junior year and was among the team leaders throughout his time. Offensively, he averaged 16 points a game as a junior and 20 as a senior. During his sophomore and junior years, he was a major contributor and played on two national tournament teams that compiled an outstanding 52-18 record. As a senior, he ranked second in both scoring and rebounding and was among the conference leaders in both categories as well. Furthermore, he was chosen TVAC All-Conference as well as being voted Co-MVP. When he finished his athletic career, he had compiled 1064 points and nearly 600 rebounds. These totals place him among the schools elite. Academically, he finished his work at Alice Lloyd, received the Caney Cottage Scholarship, and achieved his degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky.
Slone was joined by his wife, Cassie, and his daughters, Kennedy and Tori.
Currently, he is employed by world-renowned international design-build construction firm Gray Construction of Lexington, KY, where serves as the company’s project manager. He has also competed on the Ironman Circuit for the past three years, and is currently in training for the 140-mile Ironman Wisconsin Triathlon. Additionally, he and his wife have founded The Foster Care Council, which is a charity that supports local foster children in Fayette County, Kentucky.
His plaque was presented by his former coach and president of Alice Lloyd College, Dr. Joe A. Stepp, his former coach, Dr. Jim Stepp, former coach, Mr. John Mills, and by the Director of Athletics, Mr. Gary D. Stepp.
Robert Wright attended Alice Lloyd from 1985-1990. This gentlemen played baseball, but left his mark on the Eagles tennis squad where he was known for his all-around excellent game.
During his baseball career, he was a starting pitcher for three seasons. He was elected Honorable Mention All-Conference, and received the Coaches Award his final season.
On the tennis court, however, is where he stood out. During his years in the royal blue and white, he excelled, winning a staggering fifteen individual tennis tournaments. He is widely considered the finest tennis player in school history.
Academically, Wright was a regular on the Dean’s List and graduated with a degree in education. He became a teacher in Perry County and served in this capacity for over 25 years until his recent retirement. Currently, he resides in the Ashcamp community of Pike County.
His plaque was presented by the president of Alice Lloyd College, Dr. Joe A. Stepp, his former coach and current Dean of Students, Mr. Scott Cornett, and the Director of Athletics, Mr. Gary D. Stepp.]]>
The Lady Eagles Volleyball team hosted Brescia University at home on October 20, 2014 in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness match. The Lady Eagles dedicated the game to the memory of Thelmarie Thornsberry, longtime registrar at Alice Lloyd College, who lost her battle with cancer over the summer, and to all others who have been affected by the terrible disease.
The Lady Eagles lost the match in 3 sets, with the scores of 13-25, 16-25, and 17-25. Savannah Sizemore led the Lady Eagles with 7 kills while Katie McFarland had 9 digs.]]>
The ALC Men’s Golf Team held their first Scramble Fundraiser at Stonecrest Golf Course in Prestonsburg, Ky on Monday, October 20th. The ALC Men’s golf team won the event shooting 60 (-12). They raised enough funds to purchase 2 rangefinders for the team.
The team would like to thank Bob’s BBQ, Stonecrest Golf Course and the Hindman Settlement School for their support.]]>
Justice had a “fairy-tale” high school basketball career, averaging 20.1 points, 5.9 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.9 steals per game during his senior year. His efforts helped make the Shelby Valley Wildcats the 2010 KHSAA State Basketball Champions and completed the season 32-4, ranking them 90th in the nation. For his achievements, Justice was named MVP of the state tournament, Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball, and became the 2010 Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year.
Justice began his college basketball career at the University of Louisville, where he proudly played for Coach Rick Pitino. As a two year member of the Cardinals, Justice was a solid contributor as a point guard, earning himself the nickname “the Bullet”. During his sophomore year, Justice saw Louisville win the Big East Tournament and play in the Final Four, held in the Superdome in New Orleans where the Cardinals played the University of Kentucky Wildcats.
After his second year, Justice transferred to the University of Pikeville in order to be close to home. Justice completed his last two years of eligibility at UPike, where he led the team in assists and steals.
Justice says, “I have been involved in the game my entire life, and I have been fortunate to have learned under some great coaches. I want the opportunity to help these young men grow and improve just like I was given the chance by others.”
Amanda Clark, Dean of the June Buchanan School, had high praise for the new coach. “The thing that impresses me the most about Mr. Justice, even more than his basketball expertise, is his high character. I am certain that he will be an excellent role model for our students both on and off the basketball court. I am confident that the young men and women at JBS will learn a lot from him, and I am so glad to welcome him and his wife Morgan into the JBS family.”
Justice is inheriting a young team, but the first year coach is eager for the challenge. “I can’t wait to get to work. I am going to push these young men to become the best that they can be. I can’t predict a record, but I know that we will be ready to give our all every day in both practices and games. I am confident that with hard work, we will develop into the best we can possibly be, and that is all I can ask.”
Justice is married to Morgan Varney of Belfry, KY. He is also the pastor of the Pilgrims Prayer Church in Dorton.]]>
“This tournament was our best tournament of the fall and our worst tournament of the fall,” stated golf coach Dr. Robert Hamilton. It was the best tournament of the fall because the team beat KIAC rival Asbury University in the first round. It was also their best tournament because they finished 13th of 15, and not last. ALC’s lowest player was 71st of 77 and 53 strokes ahead of the overall lowest player who finished the tournament. Tyler Hayes also had a breakthrough round, shooting a 77 in the first round to stand in 7th place in a very strong field. It was the team’s worst tournament in that they went 352/351 for a 703, their worst score of the year. “We can play much better. Our top player simply had a bad tournament,” said Coach Hamilton.
Results are posted here.]]>