By Nicole Meyer
Mid-November brings about many new things: a chill in the air, peppermint mocha lattes, and most importantly, Byram Hills High School Girl’s Basketball! As each new season starts, the competition gets fiercer and the athletes get stronger. The team often draws crowds to the upper gym to watch their exciting games, and this year is no different. The one thing that has changed, though, is the loss of four previous seniors who made large contributions to the team last season, including Ashley Polera who is now playing for the Muhlenberg College basketball team this winter.
Coming off a difficult season last winter, the team seems fresh and prepared to play their hearts out in the weeks to come and hopefully make a strong run into sectionals play. With head coach Alyse LaPadula, the team’s amazing skills and shots will be ones to keep an eye out for in the coming season. One sophomore team member, Grace Scavone, assured me that they are ready to conquer this season like no other. “We have a great bond within the team and with the coaches,” she said when asked about the next few months. Because of all the new faces on the court, Scavone is unsure of how they will compare to other teams they will play but seems extremely hopeful about their potential and ability to work together. One of these new faces is eighth grader Jennifer Mui, who has just come off exciting school-record breaking seasons of varsity spring track and cross country. Making this her third varsity sport, Mui is thrilled to be playing with this basketball squad. “I’m looking forward to playing up at the high school level and seeing how I do against older players,” said Mui. Similarly to her teammates, Jen is impressed by the chemistry of the team. “They made me feel really welcome,” she added when asked about the team dynamic.
In fact, many other members of the team are looking forward to this season as well. Maggie Walsh, who has also played at the varsity level since eighth grade, expressed that the new athletes on the roster will add value to their current list and is optimistic for a successful season. “It’s not only about winning but developing and growing as individuals and as a team,” she noted. The important, unique factor about this amazing team is the unity and dedication they possess. Love for the game is clearly a unifying characteristic of the girls on the team this year. “I love the game, my teammates and the coaching staff. It’s always fun to do something you love and represent the school at the same time,” said Walsh. As the beginning of the season is upon us, the girls are always thrilled when they have an excited crowd cheering them on from the bleachers while they play! Their first game of the season was at Byram Hills High School on Friday, December 2nd at 7:00 pm against Walter Panas High School. The team is clearly determined to compete and play their best this season, and we wish them luck in their coming games!