St. Joseph Girl’s Basketball Season Preview

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Sarah Hiestand, staff writer

The St. Joseph girls basketball team began tryouts Monday and Tuesday (10/19 & 10/20) for the 2020-2021 season. After a long season of ups and downs last year, the Saint Joe girls basketball team is looking for a fresh start. In the 2019-2020 season, the girls finished 16-9 overall and 8-3 in the conference. After a big win against Marian in overtime in the regular season, the girls couldn’t finish them off in the postseason and lost in the sectional semifinals to the rivals.

New head coach Scott Francoeur brings fresh energy to the team. The squad features two returning starters, Kelly Ratigan and Sarah Hiestand. All that adds up to high expectations for the team this season.

The team lost three talented starters last year including Anne Goralyzck, Kash Biffle, and four year starter Keegan Sullivan. One of the seniors spoke about the loss of Keegan Sullivan, “The past three years, the team relied on Keegan a lot and not having her is definitely something that we are going to have to get used to, but in the end I think it will help bring us together and allow us to play more as a team this year.” Sullivan definitely had a big impact on this program her past four years and she leaves big shoes to fill. Every player on the team this year has a big role and in order to win this season our two returning starters recognize that playing the game as a team is especially important this year. Kelly Ratigan reiterates the optimism felt in the gym this year regarding this new season saying, “We lost some really talented seniors last year, but just from these first couple of practices I can tell we’re going to have a great season. The returning players have really stepped up into leadership roles and the freshmen coming in all have great attitudes. If we continue to work hard and push ourselves to fill the roles of the key seniors we lost, we should be very successful this year.”

The girls are excited for a fresh start and have nothing but good things to say about their new coach Scptt Francoeur. At the helm of the junior varsity last year, Francoeur knows the team and has formed bonds with all of them. He is the third new coach in five years, so when the team found out about the departure of Coach Becca Bruszewski, they were worried about a brand new coach coming in on short notice to learn the program and get to know the players. “Having Coach Scott as the head coach this year is really exciting, we’re all thrilled to have him lead our team. He comes into the gym with the same contagious energy everyday and always pushes us to work harder than the day before,” Kelly Ratigan says when asked about her thoughts on the new coach this year.

The optimism is high for the girls this year. With a large incoming freshman class and a young team, the girls know with hard work and good team chemistry they can make big strides this season. New coach Scott Francoeur echoes the optimism in the players and sees the heart in each kid which is something very important to have in basketball. Coming into the season as the underdogs in the conference, they have the capability to shock a lot of people as long as they put in the work.