Goessel High School girls basketball head coach Ryan Hoopes is not sure what to expect this year.
Four starters graduated last year and they accounted for more than half of the scoring.
Senior Kendra Flaming, who led the team in scoring with 11.7 points per game, had surgery on her knee after volleyball season and is not expected to play this season.
With no starters from last year, the Goessel team will be depending on new leadership.
This year’s seniors, Jennifer Van Horn and Shanna Klassen, are looking forward to assuming the leadership role.
“We feel really sad for Kendra, but this is the year we get to be leaders,” Klassen said.
Van Horn added, “Our team has shown a lot of improvement already in practice, so we are excited to lead this group this year.”
Although 10 or 11 girls are on the floor for practices, nagging injuries seem to be plaguing the Bluebirds already this year.
“With only 10 girls, we won’t be really deep at any positions, so we are going to have to learn to play without getting into foul trouble,” Hoopes said.
Assisting Hoopes with coaching duties will be Joanna Pyle.
Along with Van Horn and Klassen, Johanna Hoffman brings varsity experience from last year. Alex Hiebert, Jessica Harvey, and Aimee Flaming are expected to get significant playing time with this year’s varsity. Goessel joins the new Wheat State League and hopes to be competitive in all eight of their league games. The Bluebirds finished 11-9 overall last year.
The girls will begin the season with four home games against Inman, Central Christian, Burrton, and a team yet to be determined for the Bluebird Classic.
Hoopes summed up the anticipated season saying, “This is a group of girls that has the ability to surprise a lot of teams this year.”