What a great situation. A first year head school at a school and a state tournament trip finals.
That is the life for Kristian Williams after her move to Harrison this season. It is also the first season for Stacie Klott to assist at the high school level and the first year for Kyle Brashears to be at Harrison as an assistant.
The move for Williams came from Marshall High School. She had six seniors awaiting her at Harrison. Sydney Shrum, Maggie Salmon, Brynn Oleson, Tenelle Tate, Mariah Hudson and Alex Hill will all play their last game for the coach.
“They are great kids that have been a great influence for my own daughter and the underclassmen,” said Williams of her Class of 2021 players. “They work extremely hard on and off the court. It has been a dream for a first-year coach here to have the leadership in the senior class like I do.”
Williams style of basketball is different than what the Lady Goblins had before she became the coach. The team has adjusted to the system.
“They have really bought into my philosophy and style of play,” said the coach. “The seniors have set the tone and had the leadership for the underclassmen.”
When Williams was hired, the coach had a solid nucleus of a team coming back. Then summer injuries claimed two players. Shrum and Oleson both received serious injuries.
“It was very heart-breaking when I got the news they were injured,” she said. “It is their senior year and they worked extremely hard in therapy to get back. That just shows what kind of kids and players they are. They have different roles this year, but they are still very important to our team and our success this year. Even when they were not on the court, they were still encouraging and supporting their teammates.”
The Lady Goblins have worked themselves into a quality team. There have been several moments that epitomized the season.
“There have been several moments or games that have really stood out where I have said we could win this all,” she said. “They stepped up early and beat Class 5A and 6A schools. It was then that I realized they are doing what I asked of them and it is working. Going undefeated in what I think is the toughest 4A conference in the state also helped.”
Williams will be leading the Lady Goblins in battle on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Hot Springs Convention Center. Harrison will be playing Farmington.