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Grimm bringing a new work ethic to Ringgold

| Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Ringgold's Bailey Cooper tries to drive past BV Area's Phaedra Dewitt during a game last season.
Paul Saunders | For The Valley Independent
Ringgold's Bailey Cooper tries to drive past BV Area's Phaedra Dewitt during a game last season.

Hard worker.

Those two words were synonymous with Laura Grimm during her storied playing career at Serra Catholic and then at Division I Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y.

And it is a safe bet that Grimm is bringing her positive attitude and work ethic to the Ringgold girl's basketball program.

Hired in August to take over the Lady Rams team that finished 10-11 last year and qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs, Grimm likes what she has seen thus far.

“There is some experience back and hopefully we get some solid senior leadership,” she said. “These girls want to work harder than any group I have worked with thus far.”

Grimm was previously an assistant at Serra Catholic for a year and also for the last two years at Baldwin.

One task that Grimm and her staff will have to deal with is the team's lack of size, both in terms of height and numbers.

“We only have two true forwards on the team,” she said. “And with only 12 girls, our roster is smaller than I would like.”

Senior Eleni Radic will handle the point guard duties, and will be joined in the backcourt by sophomore guard Bailey Cooper and senior small forward Charise Barner.

Senior Sam Byczinski is the power forward while 6-6 junior Marlena Schmidt mans the center position.

Junior guard Kara Foster and freshman guard Natalie Adams were also mentioned by Grimm in terms of getting significant playing time.

Grimm, who earned a bachelor's degree from Colgate and a master's degree from California University of Pennsylvania, has set goals for her team.

“I want to have a winning season and make the playoffs,” she said. “I got to see a lot of the teams in the section at the McKeesport Summer League for six or seven weeks, so that helps.”

Grimm was quick to mention Elizabeth Forward, Thomas Jefferson, Belle Vernon, and West Mifflin as solid teams in Section 4-AAA that the Lady Rams will be competing with for a playoff spot.

“I want to do better than 10 wins,” Grimm said. “We will have to stay healthy and out of foul trouble, but I am excited to get things going.”

The Lady Rams open up Friday against Peters Township in the Fort Cherry Tipoff Tournament.

Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.

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