By Gabby Ripka
Last year, the Girls Varsity Basketball team gained two great new coaches and a plethora of new players. The girls finished off the year at a solid 8-8, which was a big improvement from the year before in which they had a losing record. Head Coach Tara Ryan, who was a standout highschool player for Irvington and a Division 1 basketball player at Fairfield, has knowledge about the game that has been extremely useful in improving the team’s play. This knowledge coupled with Assistant Coach Meredith Vasta’s help has made Byram a team that has a basketball IQ that can compete with any team in Section 1.
Each of Byram’s players this year are returners, and overall, the team is pretty young compared to their competition. This team seems like they are playing very nicely together considering it is only their second year playing together. Senior Captain Maggie Walsh will return for her fifth year on the team and is expected to have a huge impact on the team’s play. When asked about what she expects this season Walsh said, “I am super excited for what this year is to come. We’ve worked really hard and will continue to work hard throughout the season. We are hoping to upset a lot of teams this year.”
Byram’s roster consists of 11 players. The team has one freshman, Beth Corelli, and three sophomores Jen Mui, Olivia Picca, and Gabby Ripka. All four of these young players play primarily guard positions. Byram has six upperclassmen on the team as well. The three seniors are Maggie Walsh, Olivia Gordon, and Grace Scavone; the juniors are Stefana Latella, Sophia Villani, and Katherine Eisenhower. All of the girls on the team are confident in their abilities and are ready to take on a competitive schedule.
The girls have a record of 3-1 in their first four scrimmages, which has added to their excitement for this season. Head Coach Tara Ryan commented, “I am looking forward to the 2018-19 season. Given that we have a returning squad, I think we are going to set ourselves up for success this season.” The team has played Croton-Harmon, Fox Lane, Pearl River, and Blind Brook in their scrimmages, all of which have helped them to prepare for their competitive schedule this upcoming season.
Support Byram as they look to win their first official game on Wednesday, December 5th at 4:30 PM at Lakeland High School. The girls are prepared for a winning year and are determined to turn the Girls Varsity Basketball program into a force to be reckoned with in Section 1!