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New NHS girls coach meets players

NATCHEZ — The Natchez High School basketball team had one message for new coach Alphaka Moore Thursday.

“They all said they wanted to win state next season,” Moore said after her introduction to the team.

Moore, who was hired last week by NHS, takes over for interim head coach Willie Woods, who took over for former head coach Sue Johnson in January. The Lady Bulldogs were 19-9 last season but just 2-5 in regional play.

Moore said she’s looking forward to hitting the ground running in order to improve on that conference record and contend for a state title.

“I haven’t completely moved yet, so as soon as I can get the team together, we’ll get started,” Moore said.

And Moore said she expects plenty of support from athletic officials at NHS in helping her team pursue that goal.

“I’m very confident,” Moore said. “I don’t have any concerns. Everyone seems like they’re willing to help out, and I know I can get the girls to step up to where they need to be.”

Moore has just one season as a head coach under her belt, when she led Union High School to a 16-12 record last season.

“They were 13-18 the year before, and they gave a lot of effort,” Moore said. “They were willing to learn and try new things, and that’s what helped a lot.”

Prior to her head coaching job at Union, Moore was an assistant coach at West Point High School. Moore said she had been interested in coaching basketball ever since college.

“I played in high school and wanted to pursue a (playing) career after that, but I broke my ankle,” Moore said. “It was devastating, but whatever God wants me to do, I’ll do.”

After majoring in business, Moore worked for Synergetics in Starkville, where she came into contact with several West Point teachers. After getting to know the head coach, Moore asked if she could volunteer as an assistant for the girls’ team.

“I was able to connect and break things down to the girls,” Moore said.

Now that she’s a Lady Bulldog, Moore said she’s excited to work with and develop the local talent she’s inheriting.

“Natchez is a great area,” Moore said. “I think this is a really good school, and they have a lot to offer athletically.”

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