Capable Waters exciting about taking over WCDS girls' basketball program
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 19, 2013 1:47 PM
Claude Waters wondered if the rumors that floated freely were true.
Was he the next in line to succeed Eric Perry as the head varsity girls' basketball coach at Wayne Country Day?
"Is it a rumor, or is it a joke?" Waters constantly asked those who approached him about the vacancy.
"What's going on because how do you know this and I know nothing about it?"
Waters certainly knows now.
WCDS athletics director Michael Taylor recently named Waters as Perry's replacement. Waters will continue to coach the middle school and junior varsity boys' basketball teams.
A Goldsboro High alum, Waters faces the challenge of building upon a winning tradition established during Perry's six seasons on the bench. WCDS logged 100-plus victories, played for two state championships and graduated a pair of all-state guards -- Catherine Ford and Sarah Best, who each scored more than 1,000 points in their respective prep careers.
The Chargers made four consecutive final four appearances from 2009-12 in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 1-A playoffs.
"We just want to make sure, at the end of the day, that Coach Perry and those ladies who graduated from here are proud of the product that was left in my hands," Waters said. "I'm not going to put any pressure on the girls about accomplishing anything. We just want to be patient and determined, and that whatever people assume about us is something that we will not worry about at all."
Three seniors return -- Meredith Roethling, Karis Hawkins and Bailee Creger. Each saw considerable playing time last season and Waters expects the trio to become leaders by example on and off the court this season.
They'll need to show patience along with Waters, who has solicited coaching advice from numerous mentors, including former Goldsboro High women's basketball coach Gladys McClary. A 30-minute social call with McClary turned into a three-hour conversation that undoubtedly opened Waters' eyes as he begins his inaugural journey coaching a girls' sport.
Waters absorbed McClary's advice and understood that coaching is not all about X's and O's. The critical task is getting the players to trust in him and trust in one another, which will lead to a camaraderie necessary to succeed on the court. He's scheduled open gyms to build that aspect of the team and drill the basic fundamentals of the game.
"I believe in not quitting," a smiling Waters said. "We're going to be a team that plays with energy, plays good defense and plays through any adversity. As long as you learn to let go of turnovers and missed shots, keep fighting for those 32 minutes, we will succeed in some way.
"We have to work hard to get better. At the end of the season, I want the girls to see that our first five games (of the year) are totally different than our final five games. That's the ultimate goal."
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