There's a new pilot leading the Union Local Lady Jets this season.
Kelley Hanlon has never coached a basketball game at the high school level, but she's about to embark on her varsity coaching career.
The Upper Arlington High School graduate takes over the Jets program after Drew Greenwood stepped aside following a brilliant career.
PICTURED IS the 2013-14 Union Local girls’ basketball team. Front row, from left, are Cecelia Rucker, Abby Collins and Cori Medley. Middle row, from left, are Morgan Edwards, Alli Delaney, Saige Butler, Mikayla Patton, Amanda Swallie, Kylie Russell and Maiah Miller. Back row, from left, are head coach Kelley Hanlon, Megan Bateman, Danielle Merritt, Tristen Swan, Kaitlynn Clark-Patterson, Katie Bashline, Mackenzie McGary and assistant coach Emily Carpenter.
"I'm very excited. I've coached at younger levels, but never high school," Hanlon revealed. "I can't wait to get the season started. The girls are really working hard. They've been a great group to come into. I couldn't have asked for any more because they have great attitudes."
Even though Hanlon didn't go to high school in the Ohio Valley, she knows a little about what style of basketball is played here as her daughters - Lane and Avery - reside in the Barnesville School District. Lane graduated last year, while Avery is a member of the Shamrocks' program.
"I've got high hopes for this season," she admitted. "I think we can be a strong contender for the OVAC and Buckeye 8 titles. The cupboard isn't bare. I'm very blessed to have inherited this kind of talent. This is a great program that Drew ran."
That talent starts with senior Cori Medley. The 5-8 forward will be lettering for her fourth season and should eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her career early in the season.
"She would like to do it at home," Hanlon said of Medley's approaching milestone. "But we've talked about that because we open on the road at Indian Creek. I told her that it all depends upon the situation in that first game."
According to Hanlon, Medley's skills go further than just her scoring.
"She can be as good as she wants to be. She's an all-around player who is an amazing shooter," Hanlon noted. "She's especially dangerous from behind the three-point line, and she can handle the ball, as well as rebound."
Medley scored at a 16-point clip last year, while also shooting 85 percent from the free throw stripe.
Two other seniors dot the roster, those being Cecelia Rucker (5-10) and Abby Collins (6-0).
"We've got three girls who are about 6-foot," Hanlon added. "Abby is a very tough girl who will be counted upon in the middle. She has a very good attitude, while Cecelia has worked really hard during the summer and will see some playing time."
The sophomore and junior classes are very talented and experienced as juniors Mikayla Patton (6-0) and Kylie Russell (5-1) are all 2-year letterwinners, while Amanda Swallie (5-7) lettered as a freshman, but missed all of last season due to knee surgery. Sophomores Alli Delaney (5-7) and Saige Butler (5-9) lettered as freshmen.
"Mikayla is another player that will see quality minutes in the post," Hanlon said. "She's very strong on the boards."
Russell, although she is very tall, has certainly caught her coach's eye in practice.
"Kylie is probably the fastest girl that I've ever coached. She's lightning quick."
Although she missed basketball season, Swallie did play a little softball last spring.
"She's 100 percent," Hanlon said of her possible point guard. "She's ready to go physically. I don't think she missed a beat. She's a very good athlete."
Delaney and Butler are the daughters of basketball coaches, so they have the natural talent in their genes.
"Alli is a very gifted player," the coach allowed. "Her mom played and coached here, so she's going to be a good player for us. She has a strong work ethic.
"Saige is the same way," Hanlon continued. "Her dad is a coach here and she is very knowledgeable of the game.
Hanlon said two freshmen - Katie Bashline (5-6) and Kaitlynn Clark-Patterson (6-0) - could possibly see some varsity time.
"They both lettered in volleyball as freshmen, but they need some work because they are still young. They will play a lot of JV ball."
Hanlon and her squad will face a tall test in their opener at Wintersville against Indian Creek.
As far as philosophy goes, Hanlon wasn't sure what Union Local had done in the past.
"I'm my own coach, just like every other coach," she explained. "You have your own styles of things. I'm going to use everything that I've learned over the years."
What style of play will the fans see?
"We'll do a little bit of everything," she said. "With our height we can play the half-court game and slow it down, but we also have a lot of quickness that will allow to run the ball up and down the floor. It just depends on how the game is going."
Lost to graduation were Dallas Montag, Kayla Doty and Carlee Stiles.
Hanlon is assisted by Emily Carpenter who is a former Barnesville and Ohio University Eastern 1,000-point scorer.