CRESTVIEW — Standing an athletic 6-foot-1, Kerrie York looks every bit the player she is for the Crestview girls basketball team.
York’s talent and potential haven’t been lost on first-year Bulldog basketball coach Kathy Combest, who previously coached York in volleyball.
“She can shoot the three and she can play the post,” Combest said. “What Kerrie does for us is she can go inside and she can go outside. She’s been a little weak in posting up.
“She’s working on that and she started out weak on blocking out. I’ve kind of convinced her that she is going to keep on being pushed around until she blocks out lower and gets a little more aggressive.”
York has the same problem as many other young players: she thinks too much, Combest said.
“Kerrie has a lot of heart,” Combest said. “When Kerrie slows down and doesn’t think about it, she’s got very good moves.
“Her game is a little different. Her game is going to be more of an outside-inside, take the ball to the hole and step outside and shoot the jump shot. She’s more of a power forward. Right now, her confidence is not where it needs to be, but I hope when she gets a little more comfortable, it will be all right and she will help us during the (district) tournament.”
Having Combest take over the basketball team has been a real change from former coach Donald Campbell, York said.
“I’m enjoying my time here and I feel like it’s a new thing because she knows so much stuff that it’s amazing,” York said. “She is helping everybody. I’m just thankful I get to experience this. I feel like it’s new and I don’t know how to describe it.
“I feel like it’s more fast track. She throws a lot of stuff at you and you have to keep up, but you want to because we are doing what we are hearing. I learn stuff from her every day.”
York agreed with Combest’s assessment that she thinks too much. Right now, the two are working on getting York to slow down and let the game come to her as she becomes more outside oriented.
“She has made me slow down a little bit and play within the game and not try to do too much every second,” York said. “I’m more of a post player, but Coach has brought me out a little bit. Fundamentally, I am strong, but I don’t have the strength to make the strong moves inside.
“I feel more comfortable on the inside because I haven’t played on the outside very much. But I think every player wants to be on the outside and shoot the three. I just feel more comfortable on the inside.”
As for York’s basketball future, York can play college basketball if that’s what she wants to do, Combest said.
“If she could go to a program that didn’t need her right away and season her up and maybe redshirt her and get some meat on her, I think she could play,” Combest said. “She shoots the ball well and she thinks well. She’s just got to be taught a lot of things that she has to learn because she didn’t play a lot last year.
“All she needs to do is play some more. She needs that year playing with somebody and getting stronger. It’s not going to take long because she works so hard.”
As the final half of her senior basketball season gets ready to start, York seems satisfied with her surroundings in school, with her teammates and her coach.
“I couldn’t ask for anyone else better to play with,” she said. “We all bond and we are pretty close. I’ve had the best experience with them playing the sport.”
And how does York want to be remembered by her teammates, coaches and teachers?
“I just want to be remembered as a hard worker and that I didn’t give up,” she said. “I want them to remember that I was giving my all every time.”