By Justin Graves

Sports Editor

COLD SPRINGS — Tammy West struggled to speak.

Apparently it had been a while since the Cold Springs High girls basketball coach had raised her voice.

Don’t be confused. West wasn’t yelling because she was mad, and she wasn’t yelling for motivational purposes.

According to West, it was just words of encouragement.

“It was great to get back out here,” she said. “The players were ready to practice. I didn’t have to do anything to motivate them, and I didn’t have to get on to anyone.

“You could tell the girls were ready to get back to work. It was great.”

Cold Springs’ players have good reason to be excited. This is a team that has all five starters returning from a squad that won the Class 2A state title a year ago.

With almost everyone back, expectations are high at Cold Springs. West addressed that Monday.

“We talked about expectations and all of that stuff,” West said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff going for us right now, so everyone will be out to get us. They aren’t going to just hand us the state championship because we have everyone back. We have to earn it.

“But the players understand that stuff.”

Last season, Cold Springs steamrolled its way to a state title. And the Eagles did it without any seniors.

This year, West actually has seniors she can turn to for leadership — a luxury the Eagles coach is looking forward to having.

“We’ve got some good seniors,” West said. “And you can tell that they’re embarrassing their roles as this team’s leaders.”

According to West, the players handled the first day of practice well.

“Practice was great,” she said. “It went really well. We had a few cramps. But overall, the girls practiced with a lot of intensity, did everything I asked and it was a great way to start the season.”

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