Harlow, Lady Hornets gear up for another season


Luke Miller, Chelsea Buzz Reporter

Over his first four seasons as the head coach of the Chelsea High School girls basketball team, Jason Harlow transformed the Hornets from one of the worst teams in Class 6A to one of the most successful. Now, the Hornets are embarking on a new challenge.

Like the rest of Chelsea’s athletic teams, the Lady Hornets are moving up to Class 7A, which features the largest schools in the state of Alabama.

We feel that it is a privilege to move to 7A and be able to compete at the highest level in Alabama high school athletics,” Harlow said. “We certainly know it’s going to present challenges along the way, but we feel like we have high character student athletes that will meet those challenges head on and compete every night.”

Harlow, who took over as the leader of the girls basketball team in 2018, has guided the Hornets to the Sweet 16 of the postseason in each of his seasons. Last year’s team finished 27-6 and suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss to Oxford in the Elite 8. 

This year, the Hornets’ area opponents will include strong programs in Hewitt-Trussville, Spain Park, and Oak Mountain.

“Each team is very talented and well coached, so we will have to improve every day to be competitive when area play starts in January,” Harlow said.

Chelsea graduated five seniors from last year’s team and is without about 90 percent of its scoring from last season, leading to a few question marks for Harlow.

“The biggest questions will be in our back court, where we have some young talented players that haven’t played a lot of varsity minutes,” Harlow said. “They will be asked to step up this season and fill the roles of our graduating seniors.”

Despite these concerning factors, the Lady Hornets are shaping up to have another great season, and have a lot of positives to look forward to. 

“I feel like this year’s team has more size than what we’ve had the past few years.  Hopefully, that translates to being a stronger interior and rebounding team,” Harlow said. “We realize there will be some challenges early as players learn their roles, but I still feel we are going to be a tough out late in the year if we consistently commit to being a strong practice team.” 

Harlow has ensured that seniors Lexi Redd and Madison Moore will step into leadership roles this season and guide the team on a path to victory. 

“Lexi has been more vocal this year, being that she is still rehabbing from a knee injury and Madison is consistently one of the hardest working kids on a daily basis,” Harlow said.

The two will be team captains this season. 

The Lady Hornets’ first game will come Thursday, November 3, as they go on the road to Homewood.