Things Looking Up for Lady Wolverines
Posted November 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm by Tim Dustrude
Mike Martin has written up an introduction piece for the Lady Wolverines to get you ready for their season opener, tomorrow at South Whidbey:
Coming off of a banner year for the Friday Harbor High School Lady Wolverines, things are looking up for them as they play the first game of the season Saturday at South Whidbey. In spite of graduating three all-leaguers, there’s a lot to like about this year’s squad.Gone are all-league performers Mandy Turnbull, Larissa Nash, and Liz Taylor.
For Head Coach Eric Jangard and his girls, good things came in threes: Coach of the Year, League Champions, and the league’s sportsmanship award for the team.
According to Jangard, he has a different Big Three back this year: Sound fundamentals, Positive mentality, and what he calls the “Team Destination Program.” “We’ve really driven the girls towards the “Destination,” he said. The girls were asked to come up with a mantra… a battle cry, if you will. “They came up with ‘Successfully Lose and Win Together,” he said.
With a slew of fresh faces on the court it’s important that new leaders emerge. Said senior guard, Jean Melborne, “there are a lot leaders on this team… although I’m the only senior. We’re all just teammates with the same goal.”
Jangard said, “While it seems that everything has fallen on her shoulders, the beauty of having one senior is that it’s allowing some of the workload to be shared by juniors as well.” He feels that juniors gaining leadership experience will pay off in the long-run.
“It’s different transitioning from being one of the young girls on the squad to being one of the older girls,” says junior guard, Emily Guard. “With most things in life, age comes with responsibility.”
Part of the legacy that Turnbull, Nash, and Taylor left behind was belief in their teammates. “I learned from them to always be positive and open,” Melborne said. “We trust each other no matter what.”
That trust began paying dividends last summer when they finished second in the Anacortes Tournament… without the the Big Three. “It was a big confidence booster,” Melborn said. “We worked really hard over the summer in tournaments and voluntary workouts and we have a good understanding of each other.”
While that experience has brought the team closer together, Coach Jangard knows there will be growing pains. “We’re continuing to learn about each other every day — how to play together as a team.” And ultimately how to win as a team.
Jangard added, “It’s truly a unique team concept here. We have freshmen and sophomores mixing with seniors and juniors and you’d never know the age differences.”
As they ready for the first battle of the season, the coach’s positive attitude permeates through the ranks.
“We have a lot of enthusiasm as a team and motivation to get better,” says Guard. “He always knows how to utilize people’s skills to the team’s advantage.”
The marching orders are clear to each girl.
“We have revamped the program by focusing on our offensive execution, our endurance, and our rebounding mentality,” says sophomore forward, Tyla McKay.
“Our team is a united front and were ready to tackle the season together. We have a team that is willing to fight as one,” says Tabatha Keane, junior post player. “Every game is going to be a fight. But I believe in my team.”
“I’m very excited about where we’re headed as a team. We’re getting better every day,” Jangard said. But as with any young, team there will be bumps in the road. “It may take a week — it may a month but once it all comes together it’s going to be really cool to watch.”
You can listen to the Lady Wolverines at South Whidbey on Saturday, Dec. 1st at 1:30 on www.fhTinyRadio.com and 1650 AM on the radio.
The Wolverine Boys game starts at noon with the Ace Hardware PreGame show at 11:30.
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