|UC girls will get tougher |
|Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:14 am |
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Abby (Reedy) Cruce
Messenger Sports Editor
Abby (Reedy) Cruce says it’s “no big deal” that she’s trading the Red, White and Blue of Obion County Central for the Purple and Gold school colors of county-rival Union City.
The new Lady Tornado basketball assistant coach insists a bigger issue is what she’ll bring to the table in her first high school job.
“The big thing for me, is that I want to bring a toughness and a work ethic to the program at Union City that I believe it needs to be successful,” said Cruce, who overcame major knee troubles to help lead OC to the state tournament during her junior season.
“That (Obion Central-Union City) stuff is just not very important. It really never was to me.”
Cruce will join the staff of Eddie Suiter, whom she played her final two years for at Obion Central. She replaces Cristina Grimm and will join Nelson Youngblood on the Lady Tornado bench.
Cruce coached at Rutherford Jr. High last season.
Known as a tireless worker with a sweet outside shot, her relentless determination helped Cruce come back from a significant knee surgery that hampered her for the better part of two seasons to eventually earn Messenger Player of the Year honors in 2006.
She signed a college scholarship to play at Lambuth University and was a member of the Lady Eagles’ ‘07 NAIA national championship squad
And while individual accolades such as those and becoming a member of the OCCHS 1,000-point club were noteworthy, Cruce made her mark on teammates, opponents and especially Suiter as a hard-nosed, rugged competitor who was willing to do whatever it took to be successful.
“I believe in mental toughness. It was such a big part of who I was as a player, because I certainly wasn’t the best athlete or the quickest girl on the court,” Cruce said. “I think attitude is so important, and you have to mentally be ready to do anything you can every day to get better. There is such a thing as outworking somebody, and I believe you play like you practice.
“There’s no question that the more you put into something, the more you’ll get out of it. I’ll never ask the girls to do anything I wouldn’t do or haven’t already done, but they’ll have to buy into what I’m selling. I’m hopeful they will and that we can get the program to where it is one of the better ones around in a couple of years.”
Cruce, whose husband Bryant was hired in the spring as an assistant football coach at Union City, will teach fourth grade at the elementary school.
Published in The Messenger 6.29.10