The Lake Belton Broncos athletic programs have undergone a series of firsts in every sport under their umbrella.
The girls’ fall sports season is in the books and it is basketball season. Lady Belton Head Coach Taylor Hill is very excited about her new venture as the Broncos’ first girls’ basketball leader.
“I love basketball. I love being able to coach basketball,” Hill said. “At our first scrimmage the girls kept asking me why I looked so happy, and it’s because I genuinely love what I do. So, the fact that it is finally basketball season has me pretty excited. The fact that I get to do what I love and start our own traditions as a basketball program is special and something I don’t take lightly.”
Hill has already had the opportunity to work with a number of the athletes first-hand by coaching volleyball with Liz Ramsey and Jamie Brown.
“We knew going into this season that we were going to have some athletes and seeing some of those volleyball kids compete just confirmed that,” Hill said. “We want to play fast and physical, and that’s what we’re getting, adding the volleyball girls to our roster.”
Hill’s roster is mixed with the facets of basketball IQ and intangibles that fit in with her modus operandi.
“We are going to be athletic, and we are going to have speed,” Hill said. “We are going to be small at almost every position, and I believe this something we can use to our advantage. I think we’re going to be able to run on some teams and pressure them.”
The non-district schedule is challenging with a ton of talented teams outside of the District 19-6A docket. Lake Belton hosts Cameron in their inaugural game at Bronco Gym on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. A Saturday afternoon road trip to Hillsboro will be followed by a pair of home games next week against Goldthwaite and West.
“Our pre-district schedule is going to be tough,” Hill said. “We know that going into the season. I think it is important that as coaches we look one game ahead, and we prepare for that game like it’s a state championship game. We also want our girls to have the same mentality; we look one game ahead, after that game, we learn from it, and move on. Our district is going to be tough; our hope is that by playing these tough pre-district match-ups we are more prepared come Jan. 8.”
A great deal of basketball is on tap before the District 19-4A home opener against Salado on Jan. 8.
“Our district is going to be small, but competitive,” Hill said. “You have Salado who went several rounds last year. They have that experience, and they’re going to be a tough squad. Burnet, Jarrell and Taylor also have upperclassmen who have been playing together and seen some tough competition, so it’s definitely not an easy district to come into. Our goal is to just take it one game at a time and put our girls in the best position to be successful.”
While the task of running a brand-new sports program is a dream job for many coaches, the Southwest Assemblies of God University standout has embraced the task with a solid attitude, outlook and philosophy.
“This is absolutely a dream job,” Hill said. “I wake up every day feeling extremely blessed that I was entrusted with so much. It motivates me to be the best I can be on and off the court because that’s what I ask of my athletes.”
Her philosophy is built upon the pillars of being a Lake Belton Bronco.
“There are six characteristics that we, as Lake Belton Broncos, will strive to encompass every single day of practice, every day in the classroom and every game,” Hill said. “As a coaching staff and as athletes, we will strive to have character, toughness, competitiveness, respect, determination and integrity. I want to instill hard work and discipline in the lives of my athletes, to foster a positive environment of teamwork, to model character and enthusiasm, to empower athletes to be tough, strong and never give up, to display commitment and drive.”