The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

December 25, 2013

County teams use youth to spark early success

(Continued)

FAIRMONT — oooooo

East Fairmont’s Felicity VanGilder has a chance to be one of the best post players in the Big 10 Conference, James Beckman said.

Beckman, who’s in his first season as coach of East Fairmont’s girls’ basketball program, said his center is really coming along.

“I knew she was capable of it,” Beckman said of VanGilder’s early success. “She’s blossomed into the player she’s supposed to be for our program.”

The 6-foot sophomore is averaging 12.4 points per game and started her season with a bang.

In the season’s first game against Lewis County, VanGilder had 25 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for VanGilder, Beckman said.

“She’s got some weaknesses she knows she needs to work on,” he said. “But she’s very coachable. She stays after practice and will ask questions about how to guard players or how to get open with the ball — just the little things.”

With such a young squad, Beckman said the team knows to play to what they do best.

“We play to her strengths,” he said. “The team knows to get her the ball. She has a chance to be one of the best post players out there. She’s not afraid and doesn’t back down.”

Being only a sophomore, Beckman believes the future is bright for VanGilder, and he looks forward to that future.

“She’s going to be with us for 2 1/2 more years, and that’s a blessing,” the coach said. “If she continues to adapt and catch on quickly, then she can teach our freshmen. By the time she’s a senior, it’ll be like having another coach.”

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

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