Girls Basketball Begins a New Season

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT - Trojan basketball began with a week of optional conditioning. Seventeen girls participated.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT – Trojan basketball began with a week of optional conditioning. Seventeen girls participated.

Madison Botos and Maycie Waters

Basketball season has officially begun for winter sports and their athletes. For the girls’ basketball team, a preseason conditioning week was held prior to the first day of practice, which was Monday, Nov. 4. With conditioning, came many days of running, shuffling and jumping. Attendance hovered around 16 for the week.

About 21 girls have officially joined the team, compared to the 18 from last year. There are three seniors out for the 2018-19 season: Baylee Newell, Alyssa Ginther and Heidi Williams. Each girl has participated in basketball since their freshman year. They are all seeking improvement from every player and a better “chemistry” on the court. “Whether we win or lose we are still a team,” Williams said. Newell added, “I’m just looking forward to the season and having some newcomers around.”

Looking back on their basketball careers, the seniors reflected on their “shenanigans” while on the bench and also some embarrassing moments. “I scored for the other team,” Williams said, thinking back to her freshman season. The girls also mentioned a time during their freshman year when they “thought it would be cool to take a ‘tough’ picture in the locker room,” saying “it was horrible and we posted it on social media.”

This year, the team’s motto is “Climb the Mountain.” The Trojan mountain is a sprint workout, running one court-length sprint, then three, five, seven, nine, 11, 13 and back down. The first sprint has a time limit of five seconds, the second is 15, the one after is 30, and so on all the way up to 1 minute and 40 seconds for 13 sprints. After making it to the top, athletes have to work their way back down, and in order to complete the mountain, have to run each sprint in the given time.

As the new head coach, Dan Vargason is excited to take over. “I expect us to work as a team and work hard, and whatever results come of that is okay,” Vargason said. With no set number of wins in mind, he would just like to see the team improve. “Once we grow as a team I’m excited to see what can happen in the program.” Vargason has helped coach basketball for seven years: five for high school and two for middle school.

During the 2017-18 season, the girls won three games, beating Clarinda twice and Carroll once. This year, they are hoping to win significantly more, and “it starts with taking care of the ball.” The Trojans have struggled with turnovers in the past, with 281 in the last season. The coaching staff has made it clear that defense will be the “name of the game” this year. An opportunistic defense will provide more turnovers, improving offensive performance. The Trojans averaged 43 points per game, and leading scorers Newell, Haley Rasmussen and McKenzie Waters are all returning players.