By EMMA CEPLINSKAS
The season of winter athletics has arrived and that means girls basketball is back at Malden High School seniors Lisa DeLacey, Bridget Furlong and Norma Bourque were selected to take on the role as varsity captains. John Furlong, who was previously the junior varsity coach at MHS, has taken over as the head varsity coach in time for the new season. He is joined by freshman coach Paul Joyce. The team’s newest coach is no stranger to the school as Lydia Coverdale has dribbled her way back to MHS as the new junior varsity coach.
After 10 years, Coverdale continues to hold the record of top female scorer at MHS for girls basketball. Since graduating from MHS in 2002, Coverdale also graduated from University of Massachusetts-Boston and continued playing basketball while she attended. She has also been involved in basketball camps and clinics. Some may wonder her reasons for returning and the answer is from her “pride in Malden.”
A tough past has made this season one to look forward to because of all the goals that, with high hopes, will be achieved. John Furlong advises to “set the bar high and make achievable goals,” and that is just what he has done. He says he “set[s] this goal all the time” which is “to never let the girls down and give them the attitude to never give up”. Other goals of his include winning all games and the GBL and to qualify for the state tournament. Coverdale mentions her “biggest goal is to help the young ladies to grow into young adults.” Similarly, Bourque, DeLacey and Bridget Furlong’s goal for the team is to win and “to see [the] team improve over the season” states DeLacey. As for personal goals, Furlong’s “is to be the best role model[she] can be for [the] team, the high school, and younger girls who hope to one day play,” where as Bourque’s is to “work on developing better ball handling skills.” DeLacey concludes that she wishes to “maximize [her] potential [and] to leave it all out on the court because it is [her] last year of high school basketball.”
During tryouts, John Furlong looks for the “little things” players do and coach Coverdale looks for “effort, initiative, leadership [and] attitude.” To coach Coverdale, “everyone has potential and [her] job is to...unleash [it].” The focus for this season is “running, pressing and shooting as much as [the girls] can,” says John Furlong. Coverdale adds that her focus is on defense and rebounding because “it is important to have the fundamentals down before the games start.” She will not budge on sharing the coaching strategy because “it is a secret,” she whispers.
Basketball is “a way of life,” expresses John Furlong and there are many things to take from the sport to apply in life. He hopes to give the players the “attitude to never give up.” Coverdale refers back to basketball for “everything” and wants the players “to understand how to compete and always give their all.” Bridget Furlong confirms that the sport has taught her many lessons, such as “[to] never look down on [herself]...keep [her] head up...[and] work as a team.” DeLacey and Bourque in addition hope as captains that the players will “apply leadership in life beyond sports [and, from basketball,] to carry on the motivation and...hard work into their everyday lives.”