Women’s basketball ready for a new year
By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter
The lady Royals have taken very little, if any, time off to prepare for the upcoming 2013-14 basketball season.
“In the summer we practiced three to four days a week including workouts and gym time. Most of it was technical and individual skills. It was beneficial, I just wish we could’ve worked more on individual skills,” says Garaline Tom.
After finishing last year with a bronze medal in provincials, an All-Canadian, an All-Rookie, and the Coach of the Year, the bar has been set high for this season. The Royals have seven returning players, including guards Adelia Paul (All-Rookie) and Lauren Sollero, the team’s speed and voice Shanice Fuoco-Guy, defensive powerhouse Mackenzie Brenner, all-around lethal asset Chloe Kennedy, rebounding aggressor Jettie McLaughlin, and hustle player Garaline Tom. Of the seven, Coach Curtis Nelson selected Paul, Fuoco-Guy, and Kennedy to represent the team as captains.
Since the first day of summer, the team has been working gruelling practices, weight-room workouts, and individual “at-home” workouts in order to start the season off in the best shape possible. As the off season progressed, the squad picked up six rookies who will be huge contributors to the continued success of the team. The six rookies come from all over BC, as well as two other countries. Three-point specialist Simran Bir was recruited out of Fleetwood Park Secondary in Surrey, Ellen Fallis from Elphinstone Secondary in Gibsons, Sara Jorgenson comes from William Aberhart High in Calgary, Amber Beasley of WJ Mouat Secondary in Abbotsford, and two international recruits in Courtnie Martin of Washington, US, and Nanaya Miki of Osaka, Japan.
With diversity in experience and a tight-knit group, Coach Nelson has no doubt in his mind this squad can meet and exceed expectations.
“Well every year is a new year, so our goal each season is to focus on carrying our culture forward but to let last season stay in the past. So even though we have seven key returners who experienced our first trip to the playoffs in eight years, our first playoff win in 13 years, and our first playoff medal in 20 years, we have tried to keep our focus on this year’s group and not what our team did last year. Our returners have all tasted success and have been to the mountaintop before, and it seems they are ready to lead this new group to even greater heights. As for key players, everyone is really. We aren`t really built around one or two players. We are at our best as a team when every single player is contributing.”
In a nutshell, the girls made their intentions very clear: always compete!