Things Looking Up for Lady Wolverines

Posted November 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm by

Mike Mar­tin has writ­ten up an intro­duc­tion piece for the Lady Wolver­ines to get you ready for their sea­son open­er, tomor­row at South Whidbey:

Tabatha Keane and the Lady Wolverines during last year's home game against Concrete

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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