The thing about a young team is that they get older. The “building years” end and the expectations rise. That’s the case with the girls’ varsity basketball team.“As Coach [Eli] Moore said, ‘the honeymoon is over,’” junior Joey Sale, one of the captains, said.
Being made up of a team of 12 players, nine being sophomores, made for tough wins and losses. For the last two years, girls basketball has had a record of 9 wins and 15 losses. Those juniors have now gained more experience playing on at the varsity level and are ready for the new year. The girls faced challenges last year that helped shape their new season.
“[Last year] personally taught me to be more physical. And (as) a team, it taught us not to be frantic at times,” Sale said.
“It was definitely intimidating. But I could tell it made myself better,” junior Captain Megan Jordan said.
The nine sophomores played against juniors and seniors last year. After the start of the season, the girls soon learned to play at that level of competitiveness. “It was definitely challenging at times. A lot of them were bigger than us and were more experienced. But it was good. It helped us to play at a quicker caliber and learn,” Sale said. “[Last year] taught me not to back down.” Jordan said.
“[Last season] taught us to be disciplined and it showed us what our coaches expectations were,” junior Kylie Hager said.
The seniors graduated last year and it was difficult for the girls. There was only one junior on the team last year and the girls didn’t have many upperclassmen to come to for help. “We didn’t have anyone to look up on the team. It was a challenge at times since we didn’t have many upperclassmen,” Sale said.
“The seniors last year were a big part of the team and it was sad to see them leave.” senior Marisa Aguilar said.
This year the girls will face different challenges. Coach Eli Moore expressed his goal of hopefully having a minimum of 12 wins in the season. There are more expectations for the girls for the new year.
“There really haven’t been expectations besides improvement. Now there’s both improving and winning. There’s more pressure on the players,” Moore said.
“There will be higher expectations because the sophomores from last year [are] upperclassmen,” senior Aguilar said.
Marisa Aguilar is the only senior on the varsity team this year, but she sees herself as just another member of the family. “It’s cool being the only senior. Sometimes it feels like a lot of responsibility, but the team is one big family,” Aguilar said.