New Coach Brings New Hope To The Girls Varsity Basketball Team

The girls varsity basketball team has brought new changes this winter season, including a new coaching staff and team fundamentals.

The new girls varsity coach, DrewAnn Pancratz, is in her first year of teaching, as a Physical Education teacher at West Leyden, as well as her first year of coaching.

“I was nervous and excited to start teaching and coaching,” Pancratz said.

With a new coach it brought new attitudes and fundamentals to the team.

“We came in with a new attitude for them to work hard and changed defensive principles. The girls are excited to build their confidence in what they’re doing,” she added.

Attitudes of many players have changed due to the new coaching staff and atmosphere.

“I have a good feeling this year. Practices are different. I actually look forward to going to practice. It’s a refreshing atmosphere,” said senior Stephanie Muralles, who is a shooting guard on the team.

“We work 10x harder in practice. We sweat our butts of,f and she doesn’t sugar coat it. She pushes us,” added senior Kathy Wojtulewicz, who is a starting post player.

In order to reach the top all the girls have to work together as a team and work hard, not just for themselves but for their teammates.

“There are a lot of younger people on the team so us seniors have to take control of the team since there’s no one to guide us,” said returning varsity point guard and senior Victoria Galizia.

Sophomore Alondra Chavarria says it feels good to be part of varsity as a sophomore, but it brings more nerves, commitment, and working harder to be just as good as the older players.

With new confidence and leadership roles comes new goals and hopes.

“Our record,” junior Liz Mccluskey, starting post player said with a laugh when she was explaining some of the things the team was hoping to improve. “I hope we stay motivated throughout the year,” she also added.

On November 13th the girls had their first game against Fenton High School and despite having a close game they came up short in the end with a final score of 41-50.

Because of the new attitudes, commitment, coaching staff, and skill, Leyden should be expecting good things from the girls varsity basketball team this year.

The girls’ next game is today against Addison Trail at 7:30 p.m. in the West Leyden fieldhouse.