MARTINS FERRY - Lindsay Coyne is living a dream right now.
The former Martins Ferry four-sport standout is entering her first season as girls' basketball coach at her alma mater.
''This is a dream come true,'' Coyne, a 2003 grad, said. ''Obviously, basketball was the sport that I loved and am very passionate about.
''So, to come back to my alma mater as head coach is a great thing to do. It's something that I can check off my bucket list ... coaching at your old school. I just want to try and give back to the girls. Try to get them to bring to the table the things I was taught when I was playing.''
Coyne takes over for Dave Reasbeck, who guided the Purple Riders to the OVAC Class 3A title several seasons ago.
Coyne said she will try and follow in the footsteps of her high school coach, Kim Traversa (Appolloni).
''I'm striving to be a coach like her,'' Coyne said. ''She was, and still is, a very intense, passionate coach. She loved the game of basketball, but she also liked her girls. Hopefully, I strive to not only make my girls better basketball players, but better people. I want them to know they can always count on me. That's important.''
The cupboard isn't bare by any means as six players return with playing experience at the varsity level.
''I've got a great nucleus core group,'' she said. ''I have a total of eight juniors and seniors, and a couple of incoming freshmen that are very talented.''
They include seniors Jessica Kinney, Kylie Stalder, Addie Suriano, Shaina Oberdick and Meghan Rose; juniors Ashlei Ray, Morgan Stalder, Dionna Lee, Sarah Staats; sophomore Vanessa Ray; and freshmen Justine Schell, Shaye DeLeonardis and Tyrah King.
The Wheeling Jesuit University graduate is preaching defense first.
''We are really going to get in team's faces and play pressure defense,'' she said. ''Hustle at both ends of the court. Going after the loose balls and doing all the little things that make you better.
''Offensively, we want to get the ball out and go. We're very athletic, so we can get up and down the court.''
Leading the group is 5-foot-10 standout Jessica Kinney. The senior averaged more than 20 points a game last season, while also eclipsing the coveted 1,000-point barrier.
''She is a great scorer, but our team is good, as well,'' she acknowledged. ''One player does not make you a great team, but she is a great scorer and knows the game. She has a high basketball IQ and I look forward to her having an exceptional season for us."
Kylie Stalder is an all-around player, according to Coyne.
''She can drive to the bucket, but she also has a great shot from the outside,'' Coyne said. ''So teams are going to have to respect her ballhandling and shooting. She is also a good defender.
''Addie Suriano is one of the most tenacious players I've seen, especially on the defensive end of the court. She hustles on and off the court. She sprints everywhere. She tries to do everything right, and usually does. She's always intense and gives 100 percent.
''Vanessa Ray has really improved her game immensely. She brings a great attitude and work ethic. She wants to learn.
''Justine Schell is an incoming freshman who can be very talented. She works very hard and is a good defender.
''Shaye DeLeonardis is a smooth player who knows the game even though she is only a freshman. She is a natural when it comes to being a player. She's a natural athlete who is very versatile.
''Sarah Staats is a hustler. Wherever the ball is she knows where it is and goes and gets it. She never gives up.
''Morgan Carpenter just came out the other day. She had a good volleyball season and I wanted her on the basketball floor. She is very athletic.
''Tyrah King can be, if she keeps working hard, a very good player. Has really quick feet for a big girl. She does things right on the offensive end that freshman don't usually do. She can read cuts, but she is also learning the game.
''Shaina Oberdick is a strong rebounder which is a good thing. In girls' basketball, you need someone like her that will go after the ball, get it and get us started down the floor. Smart. Understands the game plan that we are striving for.
''Ashlei Ray is also very athletic. She has an instinct for the basketball like I've never seen before. Ruthless as a defender an can jump out of the building. Offensively, she is really improved her game on the perimeter.
''Morgan Stalder is my defensive stopper. Loves to get in your face. Wants to be paired with the opposing team's big scorer. She relishes that role. She's going to bust her butt getting to that player. Also improving on offense to be a threat. Her shot is getting better.
''Dionna Lee is another one of my players that is very versatile. Can play any number of positions. Athletic, quick feet. She has to know every position on the floor.
''Meghan Rose is a really good ballhandler. She will be the leader on the offensive end of the floor for us. She will be my floor general, so to say. She has good hands and can be a good leader.''
Coyne will be aided by former Purple Rider football standout Zac Bruney and current St. John Central softball coach Jerry Magistro.