The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 27, 2012

CJ coach: 'We have talent'

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— Tiffany Dirks is optimistic in her first season as girls basketball coach at Carl Junction High School.

“I’m excited. We have talent,” Dirks said Tuesday. “The players work well together. They’re playing hard. They’re picking up our (new) transition offense.”

Dirks, who’s assisted by Mandy Lybeck and Stephanie Taylor, was the girls basketball coach at Pierce City High School in 2011-12 after assisting Trish Henry for two years in volleyball.

Jonathan Wengert is an assistant principal at Neosho High School after four years as the Bulldogs’ head coach.

Carl Junction, in Pool 1 of its annual Classic, opens the season at 6 on Thursday night against Monett. The second game that night at 7:30 is Nevada vs. Liberal in Pool 2.

Probable starters for the Class 4 Bulldogs in their debut, according to Dirks, are 5-foot-6 senior Sydney Koch, 5-6 junior Bryce Boyd, 5-8 sophomore Bradyn Wall, 5-10 sophomore Brenlee McPherson and 5-10 freshman Maria Chism.

First reserves include 5-9 senior Laken Eberhart, 5-8 senior Timbre Murty, 5-7 junior Olivia Uhrich and 5-9 sophomore Sam Kopp. Rounding out the roster are 5-8 junior Allyson Mitchell, 6-0 junior Katie Skaggs and 5-11 sophomore Hope Hines.

Boyd and McPherson were members of the second all-Big 8 Conference team in 2011-12.

“My first concern is how well will we play defense (hopefully, a tight man-to-man) and how quickly will we react to opposing defenses,” Dirks said.

Dirks, a graduate of Joplin College Heights Christian School, attended Evangel in Springfield before transferring and receiving her degree from Pittsburg State University.

Dirks had coaching stints at Thomas Jefferson and a school in Alabama before returning to Southwest Missouri at Pierce City. Her husband, Josh, also is a coach in the Carl Junction system.