By Chris Chaney
The Clermont Northeastern Lady Rockets have high hopes for the 2012-13 season and are on the road to turning the program around with the goal of establishing the team as one of the top teams not only in the Southern Buckeye Conference, but also in the area.
Following a few lean years, the Lady Rockets are poised to crack the .500 barrier this season and they plan to turn a few heads in the process.
That’s where the coaches — and their clothes — come in.
Varsity head coach Jason Kreimer and assistant varsity coach and head reserve coach, Liz Benjamin will be sporting some bright pants on the sidelines as their teams take the floor this season in an effort to raise awareness about the Lady Rockets quest for excellence.
“When I was a student at Morehead State, their girls’ (basketball) coach did the same thing to try and bring publicity to a program that was trying to rebuild,” Benjamin said. “I wanted to do the same thing at CNE because in the past, we haven’t had that great of a record and with me coming in as an alumni of CNE, I wanted to bring attention to try to turn the program around.”
Benjamin and Kreimer will be wearing Loudmouth Golf pants on the sideline. Loudmouth, a company that began in 2000 based on creating a brand of clothing that would bring some life to the dull world of golf fashion, has taken off in recent years and has enjoyed some crossover appeal into different sports such as snowboarding, surfing, volleyball and now they’ve made their way to Clermont Northeastern.
“We’re hoping that with the publicity, we can draw bigger crowds,” Benjamin said. “I know it’s always more fun to play in front of bigger crowds and hopefully if we play in front of bigger crowds, we can have a better team.”
The coaches know that their attire alone won’t breed winning seasons, but they are committed to building the program up from the basics.
“We’re trying to bring back the fundamentals,” Benjamin said. “That’s what my goal is — bring back the hustle. This year we’re going to hustle more than in years past, make good passes, just basic basketball, box out, get back on defense, run the course.
“That’s what we’re trying to stress to the players: if you box out and hustle, you’ll win games.”
Just one game into the season, it’s nearly impossible to tell how this experiment will work out, but Benjamin is confident that the Lady Rockets have the talent and the desire to take that next step.
“I would love to win league and I think it’s a reasonable expectation,” she said. “We were better than last year’s record and I think we can definitely improve upon that this year. The ultimate goal is to win league.
“Both varsity and reserve look good, so I think we should be able to finish above .500.”
The Lady Rockets dropped their season opener to Felicity on Nov. 29 by a score of 52-41, but were back in action on Tuesday against Williamsburg. The team travels to Blanchester on Dec. 6, Norwood on Dec. 10 and Batavia on Dec. 13 before returning home for a battle with Georgetown on Dec. 20.
Benjamin and Kreimer hope that their sideline apparel will bring some attention to the program and fill seats so that the Lady Rockets can have as much support as possible as they lace them up this season.