LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -McNeese’s H&HP Complex was severely damaged by the two hurricanes, so the Cowgirls have been in Baton Rouge preparing for this upcoming season.
"It’s been really good. We have Southern, BRCC, and Madison Prep High School. The kids lift weights at Madison Prep, and we practice there some days, but we have been blessed to get Southern and BRCC, which are on a college court because there is a difference,” Cowgirl head coach Kacie Cryer said.
The Cowgirls have been practicing in Baton Rouge since September 28, using the facilities of Madison Prep, Southern, BRCC, and even LSU. Coach Kacie Cryer says it’s been different, but her team has adapted fast.
“They’ve handled it all very well. We are living on the campus of LSU and it is a nice setup," Cryer said. "We have been well. We appreciate this opportunity from our administration. We are blessed to be able to coach this game and play the game every day.”
Even though McNeese won’t be able to play in the H&HP Complex this season, they’ll still be in Lake Charles. It was announced last week that both the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams will be utilizing Burton Coliseum; a place coach Cryer is very familiar with.
“Burton was home for us. I have been here for 12 years now and 10 of those years we played at Burton. We won some championships at Burton. We won a lot of games at Burton. It’s home. We are thankful that they can let us play there. For us and the men," Cryer said. "Lake Charles still gets to watch us.”
The Cowgirls are officially 20 days away from their season opener at Louisiana Tech on November 25. McNeese has eight returning, led by seniors Callie Maddox and Shaela Gardner. McNeese was able to pick up five JUCCO players this off-season, so that gives them 13 healthy players to start the season.
“There’s been a lot of competition in practice and that has been fun to see. It’s a friendly competition, some days it gets intense," said Cryer. "But it’s been different. Different vibes in practice and we’re enjoying it.”
After finishing just 5-24 a year ago, McNeese was pegged to finish 12th in this year’s Southland preseason poll. But coach Cryer says it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.
The Cowgirls full 2020-2021 schedule is below: