The weather is cooling down (barley), so it must mean the school year is shifting toward the winter sports.

That was made official Wednesday, as girls basketball teams across the state began practicing in preparation for a 2010-11 season that begins November 8.

October 30 is the first day teams can hold scrimmages, though most area teams will begin facing other teams the following week.  Only one team (Shoemaker) opens November 8, as the Lady Grey Wolves begin their season on the road at Kerrville Tivy.

The other nine start the next day, and just like football, where Class 4A Killeen opened the season against its crosstown rivals, the Lady Roos open the year against Ellison.  The two meet at Killeen this season.

“(Practice) went OK… We are still missing some of the girls from Volleyball.” said Ellison coach Sherry McKinnon.  “The chemistry is not there right now, but the kids are working hard and it is good to see them and see what they can do before I get my full team.”

Last year the Lady Eagles held off a Killeen fourth quarter rally to win 54-49 at home.  Killeen of course returned the favor at the Bush’s Chicken Holiday Classic, beating Ellison in the second round on the way to a runner up finish.

Killeen and Ellison both reached the playoffs a year ago as did Copperas Cove, Gatesville and Salado.

But Cove and Gatesville unlike the other three open the season with new coaches.

Former Cove assistant Preston Flaniken takes over for Richard Herbst, now the head coach at San Antonio Clark.  Chris Carroll, a boys assistant last year moves over and replaces Megan Simoneau, who is now at Llano.

“it was a good start.” Flaniken said.  ” We just have to work to build of that.”

By Angel Verdejo,  Killeen Daily Herald