With a roster of 11 underclassmen—12 players in all—GHS is not exactly long of tooth.
Without Rinda Duerksen, Kory Hiebert, Courtney Berkholz, Trenae Wilson and Kylee Nikkel, the Bluebirds turn to 5-foot, 5-inch senior guard Jennifer Raymond to provide senior leadership to a very young squad.
“She’ll handle the ball, and she’s got a lot of varsity experience on a team with almost no varsity experience,” first-year coach Ryan Hoopes said.
“She’ll be very important for us from a leadership standpoint.”
She will be aided in that task by 5-7 sophomore guard Aspen Frey, who saw significant playing time toward the end of last season.
“Aspen played well in a limited role as a freshman, and she’ll be an important part of this team,” Hoopes said.
Frey and Raymond will split time at point guard, but nearly everything else about the team’s rotation is still up in the air.
“We are very young this year,” Hoopes said. “We have basically one senior, and the rest are freshmen and sophomores.
“I am very pleased with the group I have, though,” he added. “They are a hard-working group of girls, and very coachable. It will be fun to see them compete.”
Goessel is likely to play an up-tempo style.
“I’m not one to sit back and wait to walk the ball up the floor,” Hoopes said. “We’re not in the shape we need to be to play the style I’d like to yet, but we’ll get there.”
The Bluebirds open their schedule at 4:30 p.m. Friday against Remington in Goessel.