When basketball season rolls around the West Lincoln Lady Rebels basketball team will have a new face gracing their sideline.
Ina Thompson is resigning as a teacher and coach effective at the end of this school year and former Lincolnton star Jaime Boyles is stepping in.
West Lincolnâ€™s former Principal Debbie Morris is disappointed by Thompsonâ€™s decision, but is understanding.
â€œI hoped that she would be here longer, but she has family ties in Union County and the drive is rough on her,â€ she said. â€œI had hoped she would stay, but Iâ€™ll feel confident in the JV coach Jaime Boyles that sheâ€™ll do a great job.â€
Morris believes that Boylesâ€™ experience will aid in her new endeavor as head varsity basketball coach.
â€œShe has excellent report with the kids, they respect her,â€ she said. â€œJust by watching her as coach I like the way she handles herself. I appreciate her competitive spirit and she knows the game and played it in college (at Gardner Webb).â€
With Boyles serving as Junior Varsity coach Morris feels that she already has developed a relationship with the athletes.
â€œI think theyâ€™ll respond to her, and she went to the summer camp with them this past summer, so they got to know her there. She knows the game and I think they will respond real positively to her,â€ she said.
One quality that stands out is Boylesâ€™ high desire to excel and non-complacency.
â€œYou want someone who does not accept mediocrity, who has that drive and competitive spirit. She has that pride and that will be a catalyst to motivate her players,â€ Morris said.
Although, happy with Boyles taking over, Morris is regretful to see Thompson, who also played college basketball, leave.
â€œI hate to see Ina go. That makes Inaâ€™s decision a little easier on me because I do have confidence in Jaimeâ€™s ability. Sheâ€™s (Jaime) been here one year as a teacher, and it says a lot about her that her colleagues respect her,â€ she said.
Boyles, who scored over 1,000 points in her prep career at Lincolnton High School, has a list of people she wishes to thank for her new position.
â€œDebra Morris and Wayne Navey for the opportunity; my mom and dad have really been behind me the whole way â€” they always knew I would be a teacher and coach; and the Lord,â€ she said.
â€œI enjoyed coaching JV, and this is a good step for us going into next year,â€ Boyles said.
Boyles said she is excited about the upcoming year and already has a plan for the season.
â€œI hope to get a lot more out of them and meet the expectations I have of them,â€ she said.
Boyles herself knows a thing or two about playing up to expectations. At Gardner Webb University she was named the Most Valuable Defensive Player one year and her senior year she garnered the Presidential Senior Athlete Award presented to one male and one female athlete.
Boylesâ€™ passion and desire is to see her kids accomplish their goals and dreams.
â€œI enjoy the student-athletes here, and I hope they do well and succeed.â€by John Mark Brooks