New Meeker girls’ coach makes debut tonight in WREA Cowboy Shootout

Meeker High School seniors Chanler May, Denee Chintala, Laura Glass, Ellissa McLaughlin, Becca de Vergie and Tina Bain, will open their final season tonight against Cedaredge, in the 11th annual White River Electric Cowboy Shootout. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

MEEKER I Former Meeker High School graduate Neil Joy is the new girls’ basketball coach and he will open the season tonight at home against Cedaredge, in the 11th annual White River Electric Association Cowboy Shootout.
“I feel privileged to have this opportunity,” Joy, who was graduated from MHS in 1999, said of his new position. “I was a little hesitant at first but it has been fun so far.”
Joy has coached boys in Grand Junction, coached Barone Middle School boys for five years and assisted the high school boys’ team for two seasons.
The lady Cowboys will be led by six seniors; Tina Bain, Denee Chintala, Becca deVergie, Laura Glass, Chanler May and Ellissa McLaughlin.
“Most have varsity experience and we have an outstanding crop of freshmen,” Joy said.
Mike Dinwiddie and David Snell will assist Joy with the coaching duties of 36 players out for the team this season.
“We are going back to basics, getting a plan of attack for the season,” Joy said. “We’ll start slow, take our time and do things right. We’ll slow things down on offense with a more structured system and be very patient. We’ll have a different look on defense, predominately running man-to-man and full-court presses.
Joy will test his system this weekend, entering the varsity bracket with a junior varsity team and C-team entered in the JV bracket.
The varsity bracket will feature Hayden, Little Snake, Rangely and Grand Valley on the top side, along with Mancos, Palisade, Cedaredge and Meeker on the bottom side of the bracket.
“There are some bigger schools coming in, which will be good experience for us and the other teams in our league,” Joy said of 3A Cedaredge and Grand Valley, along with 4A Palisade.
“It is going to take a while to get where I want us to be but we’ll get rolling, start coming together and get a few games under our belts,” Joy said. “The girls are starting to buy into the new system, starting to get it and having fun with it.”
Joy expects Rangely and Paonia to be the competition in the Northwest League this season.
“We played them both three times this summer and were not able to hang with them,” Joy said of the Panthers and the defending state champion Eagles. “Paonia has quite a program and Jimmi Mergelman has done a heck of a job building her program. We play all league teams twice, with the second one counting. Hopefully, the second time around we are more competitive.”
The Meeker Masons will provide a pancake breakfast for all the teams Saturday, followed by guest speaker Tonya Stits, a former Mesa State standout, who according to Joy, holds most of the Mavericks girls’ basketball records.

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