Caroline Santos also contributed to this article.

After many games, practices, and hard work, fall sports have come to an end. The winter sports are about to begin with many new players and opportunities. While students cannot be sure of what is about to come, upcoming players can make predictions and set goals. The girls’ basketball team is eager to start their season and already has many goals they are planning on achieving.

Sophomore Olivia Rodrigues is eager to get back on the court and start the season. Much like other players, she hopes to continue building bonds with her teammates while playing alongside them. 

Many of the girls have been playing in the off-season and staying in shape in preparation for the season. They have expressed how important it is to stay in shape before the season starts as it is key to playing better. These offseason practices have been said to improve the girls’ performances and they have been focusing on their mistakes and weaknesses.

Tori Gammon gets up after a hard foul by a defender. BO STEAD |Photo from the 2022-2023 season.

Rodrigues seems to be proud of their improvements; they did not just improve on their skills but as a team as well. Rodrigues also expressed how she would like to see more support from the students. “I think everyone mostly focuses on the boys’ sports and forget about us,” knowing her team can do many great things. 

Junior Ina Tolete, much like Rodrigues, expressed great excitement for this season: she believes that they have grown bonds together and gotten to know each other pretty well. While a lot of people have been doubting them about their hopes of winning the GBL title, according to Tolete, she wants to prove them wrong not only for herself but as a team.

Tolete expressed how she is excited for more bonding and great times with her team. Another remarkable goal for Tolete is consistency: she thought last year was an inconsistent year for her playing, stating how she was not satisfied with her performance as it lacked consistency, “but this year we’ve all improved really well.” It is amazing to see how as a team they have grown together.

Their bond with each other is surely great, but what benefits did it bring? Tolete expressed that they have all gained a “sense of how we all kind of play with each other, doing more team bondings to boost our morale and kind of learn to take criticism from one another.” This was a great example of the benefits of creating bonds with teammates, not only was Tolete’s pride and content feelings while saying this showed how much they have come and grown, regardless of their ups and downs.

In their upcoming games, Tolete states how she is eager to play against Revere, while she and her team will also be facing Everett, she is most eager to go up against Revere as they have been “feeling highly of themselves,” and she has certainly felt more tension between Malden and Revere this year than with Everett.

Sophomore Jenesa Perez Sims believes her team can improve a lot compared to last year. Communication is essential when it comes to team sports: “We will do good as long as we communicate and prepare.” Perez is very enthusiastic about her team this year, she believes they will do great things and have an outstanding season. 

What stands out amongst all the players is their eagerness and willingness to improve together. They have always thrived to conquer their next goal or challenge ahead of them.

Tori Gammon rushes up the court on a fast break. BO STEAD | Photo from the 2022-2023 season.

Senior and captain Victoria Gammon is confident in her team and knows they can do well. Gammon is very passionate about her sport and hopes her teammates put in the hard work. As a captain, Gammon has to not only set herself as an example but also make the girls want to strive for improvement and have a good outlook on the game. While preparing for the upcoming season alongside her teammates she stated, “It’s like we are all one machine.” The girls hope to make it to the MIAA playoffs and to advance in it. They also want to win and earn the GBL champions title.

While these are big goals to achieve, the girls’ basketball team seems like it is going in the right direction with their eagerness to play and already achieving multiple goals before the season even started. This team is prepared and ready for what is about to come next and they are excited to start.

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