This year, Lebanon High School hired Candice Huckstep as the new head basketball coach for the Lady Tigers. Huckstep graduated from LHS and was a big part of the girls’ basketball team in her high school career.
Huckstep has been a head coach previously at Elwood High School, for five years and mentioned that gaining high school experience under Tracey Hammel, Beth Devinney, and Megan Alexander has prepared her well for when it comes to coaching.
“I have always placed high expectations on myself, and the people I coach. Nobody rises to low expectations,” said Huckstep.
One of Huckstep’s main goals this season has been to establish a new culture of togetherness, accountability, and hard work.
“We have had great buy in the entire season. I am really proud of our girls for adapting to our new culture and new standards. I feel that this change will allow our program to be successful,” said Huckstep.
Not only has Huckstep worked on the high school team, but she has worked on growing the program as a whole.
“I have really tried to get our youth programs going. It’s definitely not where I want it to be, but for my 1st year, it’s a start. During the winter, I had 3rd through 6th grade teams playing in the Indy Hoops League. My plan is to continue to develop our youth programs by having more involvement this spring and summer with continued opportunities for our younger girls to be involved in basketball, that all starts with developing the fundamentals,” said Huckstep.
The Lady Tigers defeated Brebuef on Tuesday in the first sectional game. They will face Bishop Chatard at Bishop Chatard on Friday.
“We are currently in sectional play. We haven’t made any specific changes, other than trying to build confidence within our team, so when we put 4 quarters together, we can play with some of the best teams in the state,” said Huckstep.
Huckstep is preaching confidence in the hopes of bringing home a sectional title.
“The most important part is to value the moment. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day during tournament time. Have confidence,” said Huckstep.
Huckstep sees a difference in opportunity for athletes from when she attended Lebanon.
“Athletes can be involved in so much more than basketball, cheerleading, and swimming during the winter months from when I was in school. I think throughout the school year, there are so many more opportunities for our students and athletes to be involved, besides just sports,” said Huckstep.
Another big change for Huckstep is the weight room that has been updated since she was in school.
“Lebanon’s weight room is amazing. When I was in school, you couldn’t walk 5 feet without running into a piece of equipment. It was old and run down. We’ve got a top-notch weight room facility now,” said Huckstep.
Huckstep shared that she is excited to coach at Lebanon, where she is from and to continue grow the basketball program now as a coach.
“Lebanon has a rich history of basketball. To me, there is nothing more exciting than being able to coach where I went to school, and played. There is no one that wants to see our basketball program succeed more than me,” said Huckstep.