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All-County Girls Basketball: Naylor leads Rebels to new heights in MVAL

March 29, 2013|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • South Hagerstown's Nate Naylor is the 2012-13 Herald-Mail Washington County Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.
South Hagerstown's Nate Naylor is the 2012-13 Herald-Mail Washington County Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.

It’s doubtful that Nate Naylor would have figured on winning postseason coaching awards when he took over as head coach of the South Hagerstown girls basketball team two years ago.

But Naylor, the full-time head coach this season after a year with the interim tag, followed up a 17-8 season in 2011-12 with a 21-3 mark, which included a 14-0 run through the MVAL Antietam Conference.

For the second straight year Naylor is The Herald-Mail’s Washington County Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.

“The first year I didn’t know until October I would be the interim coach,” Naylor said. “This year I knew I’d be here, we were able to get a full offseason of work in and that makes a big difference.”

Once again, Naylor capitalized on his gifted trio of juniors — Katrice Dickson, Tayana Stewart and Chelsey Scott. But this year, Naylor was able to develop some even younger talent that gave the Rebels a choice of personnel off the bench.

“We just couldn’t get over the hump in many of the losses my first year,” Naylor said. “This year, I wanted them to learn how to win games in a different fashion. We were a smarter team. If some team made a run at us, I didn’t feel we were ever going to be out of a game.”

Naylor, who gets some of his coaching acumen from his father, Rebels boys coach Kevin Naylor, says his job was made a little easier on a regular basis by the junior team leaders.

“As a coach you don’t have to do as much, especially with those three,” Naylor said. “Most people don’t see them when they’re in the weight room or at practice. They are great leaders and I always knew they had the first 15 minutes of practice going.”

Long losing streaks seem to be a thing of the past, so Naylor and the Rebels are focused on solving Damascus — the team that has eliminated South from the playoffs the last two seasons — in order to get back to the state tournament for the first time since 1994-95.

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