New coach for Emlwood girls

JERRY CITY — Skip Bateson is aiming to lead Elmwood girls basketball back to the level to which those
around the program are accustomed.
It will be no easy task for the veteran head coach, as Elmwood is coming off a losing season and
embarking on its fourth coach in four seasons.
“I think there’s a lot of talent out there. Hopefully we’re going to improve on what we did last year,”
Bateson said.
The Royals finished 3-18 overall and 2-12 in the Suburban Lakes League (seventh) last season.
“We definitely have goals,” Bateson said. “We’ve talked to the seniors and the seniors are excited about
the season coming. We set our goals high. Hopefully we can meet them.”
Bateson, who spent time as an assistant under former Elmwood girls coach Gary Reynolds, has seven years
of varsity head coaching experience. Most recently Bateson served as the coach at North Baltimore for
three seasons and before NB he headed the Old Fort program for four years.
Bateson replaces Dennis Martin. The coach before Martin, Joe Kirkendall, led Elmwood to a 18-2, 13-1
regular-season record in 2007-08 including a share of the SLL title with Genoa in his only season.
Kirkendall took over for Reynolds, who also experienced success at Elmwood.
Bateson said he is looking to bring some stability to the program.
“I sure do hope so. That’s my goal. I would like a nice long run and get established and build the
program up to where it used to be,” said Bateson, who graduated from Elmwood and lives outside of Wayne.
“It’s good to be home.”
The cupboard is not bare for Elmwood and Bateson, as the Royals could return as many as 10 players who
saw varsity time last year. Leading the way are four seniors and six juniors.
Bateson pointed to returning senior guard/forward Emily Reynolds (honorable mention All-District last
season) as being a leader for the Royals. He also mentioned seniors Vanessa Schwind, Shelby George and
Lindsay Heller as keys to the team, as well as juniors Reagan Briggs, Liz Kreais and Sam Auchmuty, among
Bateson stated he will play predominantly man-to-man defense, but “will mix it up some too,” as well as
employing an attacking style of offense.
“We’re still going to probably be fairly young,” Bateson said. “Defensively we’ve got to be able to stop
people. That right now is what we talk about is just working defensively, trying to get basic stuff back
where we need to be. I think that’s going to be the key.”
Elmwood scored 31.9 points per game while allowing 51.1 per game last season.
“We definitely have enough talent to compete,” Bateson said. “Hopefully we’ll go out and prove ourselves
and show people.”
Bateson, who works in North Baltimore, was named the new coach at Elmwood’s June board meeting.