Last year might have been a little too much pressure.
Kyle Marlatt’s first-year goal was the drive for six; the Falcons were six wins away from 300 victories in the program’s history.
Frontier did that, besting West Central 55-38 on Dec. 17. However, it bottomed out from there — the Falcons didn’t win again.
So his message was planned to be “just one more.” Perhaps at first it was a reference to winning seven games, but it quickly became a mantra to cope with the turbulence. Frontier has played two games without its top returnee, Emma Blissett, because of coronavirus-related issues.
“If you get one more practice, it’s a win. If you get one more play on the court, it’s a win. If you get one more steal, shot, rebound, assist, whatever, it’s a win,” the second-year coach said. “Take it one possession at a time, and one game at a time. We’re not going to set a goal for wins and losses, or try to hit certain numbers. We want to be able to play one more day.”
Marlatt’s long-term goal is to build and maintain stability for a program that has seen five coaches roam the sidelines the past seven seasons. The longest-tenured one left collected 10 wins in three seasons.
“It’s about building up a sense of community and trying to turn things around, helping establish feeder programs for both the girls and boys to give them a chance to succeed,” he said. “My hope is to hand it off, eventually, to someone who has the same passion for Frontier athletics who will take this and continue to build upon it at every level.”
Frontier returns eight who saw time on the court. Blissett paves the way, with Lauren LaOrange and Courtney Gutwein as key cogs. Daisy Christopher, Shelby Clothier and Olivia Newcom are expected to improve upon last season’s production. Sophomore and newcomer Laci Mears scored a team-best six points in Tuesday’s season-opening loss at North Montgomery, while Clothier and Christopher put up five apiece.
Frontier averaged 27.5 points in its first two games. Marlatt admits the Falcons will have to key on defense and draw games out. Last year’s 35 points per game is around where he thinks they’ll be this year.
“We’re going to struggle to score this year, even when our top players come back,” he said. “We know we’re going to have to keep games in the 30s and 40s if we want to be competitive.”