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The Rockmart High School girls basketball team welcomes a new head coach as they begin their summer training and continue play in a summer tournament league.

Eastside Elementary teacher and former assistant varsity and head JV coach Andre Clark will be leading as the new head varsity girls basketball coach for the upcoming school year and season.

When former head coach Tim Puckett stepped down after this past season, Clark was asked if he was interested in the position and he immediately agreed.

Clark worked as a special education teacher at Rockmart High School for six years before moving to the elementary school to continue his position.

He is also the head boys track coach and the assistant football coach.

Clark began his involvement with the Lady Jackets basketball team four years ago when he started coming to watch his daughter’s practices. Puckett then asked if Clark would like to help as he had already showed a commitment to the program.

“Four years ago when I started, on the first official practice of the school year, I looked up and saw the banners and realized that 1961 was the last time the girls had won a region championship title,” Clark said.

“Ever since then it had been a personal goal of mine for the girls to change that banner, which we did this year,” he added. “The next goal is to put a state championship banner up there and I think we have the girls and the ability to bring that within the next two years.”

This summer, Clark has plans and goals for growth in skills, conditioning, and as a team.

On June 4, the team began competing in the Seven Hills League in Rome and have played four games so far, including against Chattooga, Cedar Bluff, and Model.

“We’re trying to find depth this summer,” Clark said. “We’re looking for role players and people to fit in with the returning players.”

“What I’ve noticed so far is that they all like each other, which is always important,” he added.

After the summer league ends on June 18, the Lady Jackets will continue to condition and practice skills throughout June and July. When school starts back in August, Clark hopes to have a set schedule for practices and conditioning.

He added that Hannah Mathis and Wayne Kent will be joining him in implementing and overseeing the offseason conditioning routines.

Clark also discussed his plans for the team this season.

“They’ve bought into my mindset of what I want to do,” Clark said.

“It will be a little bit different because I want to press more and be up in the other team’s face,” he said. “We are also going to rotate more players so there are going to be a lot of different faces that will be seen on the court.”

“I this has a making to be a real special team,” Clark added.

Look for more information to come about the Seven Hills League in Rome.

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