As the fall sports season comes to a close, the Lady Red Devils girls’ basketball team is getting ready to start their season Nov. 21 against Green River at home — and they have already begun their practice regimen in preparation for what will likely be a tough season.
The Lady Red Devils have only four returning players this year, juniors Veda Gritts at center, Mercedes Zunich at point guard, Hannah Owen at shooting guard and Josie Camps at shooting guard. These four veterans will be leading a team of newcomers through what will be their first varsity basketball experience.
Although the team may have less experience than many rivals in 3A-Region 15, they have a young squad led by upperclassmen that will be returning next season as well, which gives them a chance to build as a unit. The team was plagued by injuries last season, as well as losing several players who did not meet academic standards. The girls will also face new challenges this year moving up to 3A for the first time.
Camps is aware of the difficulties this could present, saying “They have a lot bigger schools, and they are going to have a lot bigger numbers than we do.”
The team will also mostly be comprised of freshmen, a group Camps said will be looking to her and the other juniors to lead them through the tough games ahead. “We have no seniors though,” Camps added jokingly, “so we won’t lose anybody.”
When asked who their biggest rival was in this upcoming season, the four returning players, almost in perfect unison, said “Blanding,” with Owen adding, “We’re all excited this many people showed up.”
During practice this week, the gymnasium was lined sideline-to-sideline with new players. According to the juniors, this is already a far cry from last season, when the team finished with only seven players.
“I think we’ll work well as a team, have fun, and just learn all together,” Gritts said.