After losing the program’s all-time leading scorer Mya Shannon and two other seniors, Gigi Corban and Paige Valentine, to graduation and having another starter from last year’s team, Kennedy Dransfeldt, decide to not play basketball in order to concentrate on volleyball, there promises to be a lot of new faces on the floor this season.
One face that is familiar, though, is coach Luke Windy.
Windy takes over for Kate Carey, who had coached the team the previous five seasons. Before that, Windy coached the Redskins for 10 years, amassing a record of 140-138.
Windy knows that he and his team have their work cut out for them this season, as a virtually new varsity roster must come together quickly.
“We lost, I would say, 99 percent of the varsity experience from last year’s team,” Windy said. “For most of our girls, this will be the first time they are playing on the varsity level. It is going to take them some time to get used to the speed of the varsity game and how physically it is played.”
Only one senior is on the roster for Morris, Samantha Macchietto.
The rest of the varsity roster includes juniors Zitlaly Rodriguez, Autumn Schultz, Chloe Ostrem, Faith Ritter, Haley Aukland and Alexis Smith. Sophomores on the roster are Maddy Hughes, Kyla Kjellesvik, Cheyenne Hills, Mackenzie Lind, Mia Palmer and Rachel Heap.
“We only have 18 girls in our program,” Windy said. “We had to cancel our freshman season because we didn’t have enough players. But the ones that are here really want to do the work and improve.
“When we scrimmage against each other in practice, there are times when we are going against freshmen. Again, it will take some time to adjust to varsity competition. We are going to go slow and take it step by step.”
While the focus will be on improving, Windy does not want his team to think that is the only goal.
“We want to win,” he said. “That’s the main goal. We know it’s going to be a tough road, and we want to be sure we are doing things the right way. We feel that if we do things the right way, then the wins will come.
“We want to change the culture in the program. The girls are making improvements every day, and that’s been nice to see. It’s definitely a process. I know the girls are tired of hearing it, but it is.
“If we stay with the process and trust it, we will be OK.”