Lady Vikings won’t lack enthusiasm with Johnson

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 31, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – Any team’s identity starts at the top with the attitude of the coach. If that holds true in 2000-2001, expect a fiery, energetic effort from Vidalia’s Lady Vikings.

&uot;I guess you could call me an enthusiastic person,&uot; said head coach Lillian Johnson, whose 21 years of experience coaching helped lead the Lady Vikings to a District 3-2A championship last season. &uot;Whatever the game, whether I’m playing or coaching, I love to win.&uot;

But Johnson’s definition of winning doesn’t necessarily involve the numbers on the scoreboard.

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&uot;Every time a player is on the court, that’s a new experience,&uot; she said. &uot;To me, that’s a winning experience. As long as we’re out there doing the best we can, that’s what’s important.&uot;

Interaction with young athletes is what’s important to her as a coach, Johnson said.

&uot;I’ve always loved working with children,&uot; she said. &uot;I like seeing a kid, you know, instead of going out on the court and doing what they want to do, they go out and play good defense, the way you taught them.

&uot;When they excel like that, I get a lot out of it,&uot; she said.

Johnson also said she loves the competition of sports, whether it be a basketball game she coaches, a tennis match she plays or an event she watches on television.

&uot;I just love sports. I’ve never lost my enthusiasm for sports,&uot; she said. &uot;I love sports as much now as when I first got started.&uot;

Johnson’s sports career began in Sicily Island, where she played point guard for Martin High School. She then played two years at Southern University. She has coached track in the past and currently serves as an advisor for Vidalia’s cheerleading squad in addition to coaching the girls basketball team. She also teaches physical education at the high school.

&uot;Since I was young, I wanted to coach or officiate,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;I don’t know what it’s like to go home at four or 4:30, like some teachers do. I’ve always coached.&uot;

Johnson’s love of sports may be matched only by the dedication of her players, she said.

&uot;In general, they love the sport,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;You have to be dedicated to come to practice and give that effort every day. They have an attitude that they want to play and they want to win.&uot;