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New Burton girls basketball coach Sturgill predicts quick turnaround

Kevin Mays • Jun 16, 2020 at 10:43 PM

NORTON — Terry Sturgill is ready to hit the court running after taking over as coach of the J.I. Burton girls basketball program.

Sturgill replaces Chris Smith, who resigned the post earlier this year after three seasons. The Lady Raiders went 31-38 under Smith, including 8-16 this past season.

NEW TERRITORY

This is Sturgill’s first stint as a varsity head coach, but he’s familiar with Burton’s girls program.

The 2000 Burton graduate was an assistant coach with the Lady Raiders from 2008-13, a stretch that included the state championship team in 2011 and the state runner-up team in 2010.

This past season, Sturgill coached Burton’s junior varsity boys to the Cumberland District title.

Burton’s girls have had some down years recently, but Sturgill is confident the program can quickly make a turn for the better.

“I believe there’s talent there right now and there is talent coming up,” he said.

The biggest hindrance for the coach and his team right now is the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’d like to be able to get in there right now with open gym and see what we’ve got,” Sturgill said.

The VHSL recently announced that it will allow out-of-season practice, but several health and safety conditions must be met before that can happen.

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