As the cold starts to roll in, winter sports begin.
The girls’ basketball team strives for their title to win the Greater Boston League (GBL) and make it to States. The team has been through a lot with Covid hitting their season and forcing them to wear masks, making it difficult to play the sport.
Last year, the season was shortened to ten games instead of 20 and they were unable to play a full schedule.
Though it has been difficult, that does not stop the girls from continuing to hustle and work hard this season. Some of these girls have not played since freshman year. “It’s my first year on varsity, I am excited to see how much I grow,” said Adriana Velasco, a junior who is returning to the team. For her, it feels nerve-racking because there can be a lot of pressure put on them.
Some of the girls are returning players. Co-captain senior Yasmine Alayan hopes that the girls “pick up the learning pace a little bit” and there are a lot of young players on the team. She has “already seen progress ” and thinks that the team will catch up pretty quickly. Their defense looks good and the team seems to be catching up conditioning-wise.
Scott Marino, who is the girls’ varsity head coach, is pushing the team and wants them out there as quickly as possible and is assured when it comes to winning this year, and that includes the GBL title. “That banner is to the center of the court so that everyone that comes into this gym finds out we won the GBL title,” he said. Marino wants the girls to try their hardest this year and wants them to compete at the highest level. He is expecting them “to gain and grow every single day” so that they’re competing to win a state championship.
The team feels the same way when it comes to winning the title and making it to States. “The team has worked so hard over the summer and dedicated their practices,” Maritza Ramos-Perez, a junior on the varsity team, said. Perez is confident about winning and feels that the team could work on communication more when it comes to interacting on the court.
Alayan said “We are trying to correct it through communication, playing hard on defense and not having meltdowns on the court.” She wants the team to stay on task when it comes to playing games and keeping up with their practices. Like when the team messes up, Alayan does not want them to stay stuck on something, she wants them to get over it and move on, to keep playing instead of letting it affect you on the court.
Although the team may have its ups and downs, that does not stop them from being optimistic towards their goals and for the team and having support for one another. “Positive hopes, because if you think of the doubts that’s where all the bad happens,” Nyandeng Yak, a junior on the varsity team, said. She feels like it is best not to be negative when it comes to playing this year. “You don’t want to doubt yourself and all you want to do is progress.”
The team knows what they want. “We’re all just going after the same goals and are willing to make the sacrifices this season and are ready for what is to come for us", Velasco said.