The Ashland Beacon
When Elliott County hit the shots that ended Fairview’s longest winning streak ever recorded at 10 games, the girls didn’t walk off defeated, but returned to practice determined. That determination is a reflection of the philosophy of Fairview Head Coach Rex Cooksey. “We have 30 quizzes,” the coach explained. “We’re taking quizzes, and we passed our first 10. We don’t think about district, we pass one quiz at a time, one practice at a time.”
The earliest team goal was simply being competitive for 32 minutes of all 30 games. “We approach every day [trying] to get better before we leave here,” Cooksey said continuing, “I’m looking for how we approach it, how we compete. We work hard, we can compete.”
So far, so good for the single A school in Westwood. One thing that has brought Fairview this far is good leadership. “I’ve got great kids, but you’re only as good as your seniors,” the seasoned coach continued. “We’ve got four solid seniors. They get along well and treat the younger kids great.” Coach Cooksey, who is in his 44th year of coaching one or more sports, started with this group of seniors when they were in middle school, and now the group is loaded with experience. They know the system, they’ve dedicated themselves to hard work, they understand the importance of defense, they know their roles, and have great team chemistry.
“I’m proud of those four: Maddey Shaffer, Gracie Crisp, Jordan Meeks, and Rachel Hanshaw. They really do a good job with our younger kids. Those are four super seniors that are going to leave a legacy and leave a standard.” Cooksey proudly declared.
Senior guard Gracie Crisp explained the goals, “Play better as a team, Get better as a team, and play how we know how to.” Crisp is strong with preparation and reviews film of opponents and her team to ensure learning and development. She advises younger players, “Don’t take it for granted, you’ll wish you had worked harder.”
Early success plays a big part, according to senior Rachel Hanshaw. “It’s our focus on defense. The majority of the practices, that’s what we focus on and it’s really shown in the games whenever we can shut people down like we couldn’t do before.” Hanshaw reminds younger players, “Don’t go easy, don’t think you have so much time left because you really don’t. It’s all flown by. Make sure you go all out all the time.”
Senior center, Jordan Meeks believes team chemistry is a strong factor as well. “We work very well as a team. We all know our weaknesses and our strengths and we’re very good at highlighting our strengths,” she comments. “To achieve our team goals it’ll take working harder and playing [the way] we know how to, because we know how to play, we just gotta make sure we do it,” Meeks said, of the younger players, “I want them to know they can do it, too.”
Junior point guard, Jordan Rakes and Junior defensive specialist, Josey Nelson also mirror those seniors commitment to one another and hard work to constantly improve.
Why not more hype about the streak? “Wins are great, its been a great run. We want to come in mentally right, to prepare to play, compete for 32 minutes,” Cooksey reminds the team because they have another quiz Wednesday against Greenup County. That’s how a legacy is born: the most important game being the next one.