Priceville Lady Bulldogs Tip Off the 2018-19 Season

By Russell Frye

The Priceville Lady Bulldogs came into the 2018-19 season looking to improve on their 21-8 record from the 2017-18 season which ended with a loss to eventual state runner-up Deshler in the region championship game. The Lady Bulldogs are led by Head Coach Terrie Nelson, who enters the season with over 115 wins as Lady Bulldog head coach.

”I am looking forward to a great year,” said Nelson.  She went on to say “We are very fortunate to have three returning starters in First Team All-State and senior forward Kathleen Wheeler, All-Region selection and senior forward Skyler Benson and sophomore point guard Jenna Walker.”

Wheeler recently signed to continue her basketball career at Samford University in Birmingham. She comes into the 2018-19 season having scored just shy of 1,500 points in her three years as a varsity player. She will look to break the school record for career points early in the season. Her accomplishments at Priceville have been numerous to this point in her career.  She was a first-team 4A All-State selection following her junior season in 2017-18, third team All-State after her sophomore season, and honorable mention after her freshman season. In the 2017-18 season she was named the Decatur Daily’s 1A-4A Player of the Year, and she was also named All-Area and All-County. She was named her team’s MVP in each of the last three seasons. Last season, she led her team in field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage and rebounding.

Benson comes into this season having been named to the All-Region team from her performance on the court during the 2017-18 Northwest Alabama Regional held at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. She was the second leading scorer last season and has scored just under 1000 points for her career. She was named All-Area and All-County for the 2018-19 season. She will be counted on to provide senior leadership and scoring this season. She will sign to play volleyball at Snead State.

Walker is the third leading returning scorer and assist leader for Coach Nelson. She is a sophomore who will be playing her third varsity season for the Lady Bulldogs. She was named All-Area and All-County for the 2018-19 season. Walker is already receiving interest as coaches from colleges all over the southeast. Coaches from SEC Conference schools Auburn and Vanderbilt have already offered her a scholarship after seeing her play during her freshman year. Other colleges including UAB, North Alabama, Old Dominion, UT-Chattanooga and more have also offered her a scholarship after seeing her play.

Coach Nelson will also look to the Duran sisters, Olivia and Kassie, to play valuable minutes this season. Also returning to the team is Lannah Johnson, who has worked to return from knee surgery. The Lady Bulldogs adds three juniors – Chio Doi, Elizabeth Halbrooks and Taylor Dean – and three sophomores – Abigail Garrison, Brianna Marquette and Kendall Sharp – to the 2018-19 roster.

Priceville will play this season in AHSAA 4A Area 13 which includes Danville, St John Paul ll Catholic School and West Morgan. Outside of area play, they will play a schedule filled with county foes as well some of North Alabama’s best in the Hartselle Thanksgiving Tournament and the Lauderdale County Christmas Tournament.