The LaFayette Lady Ramblers will battle Murray County on the basketball court as region opponents starting in the 2020-2021 season and when they do, they'll be seeing a familiar face patrolling the opposing sideline.
Former LaFayette High standout Keri O'Neal was announced earlier this week as the new head coach of the Lady Indians. O'Neal is replacing Hannah Harris, who stepped down at Murray County in May in order to fill the same post at Dalton High.
O'Neal was a Catoosa-Walker County Dream Team first team pick and an Region 6-AAA North selection as a senior when she averaged 16.2 points and 18.2 rebounds a game, including a school-record 29 boards in a game against eventual state runner-up LFO.
She ended her LaFayette career with 1,366 points and more than 1,400 rebounds.
O'Neal signed with Snead State (Ala.) Community College out of high school and spent two seasons there before the 5-foot-11 post player transferred to Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn.
As a member of the Red Hawks, O'Neal earned All-TransSouth Conference honors as a senior, putting up averages of 9.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks a game and recording eight double-doubles that season.
She graduated in the top five all-time at Martin Methodist in offensive rebounds (245), defensive rebounds (320) and total rebounds (9.57 per game). She also ranked second in program history at the time in total blocks (77), blocks per game (1.3) and career double-doubles (16).
O'Neal, who earned a Bachelor's degree in Biology at Martin Methodist in 2013, previously served as an assistant coach at Snead State, at Division I Morehead State (Ky.) and at Belhaven University (Miss.). This will be her first head coaching job at any level.