Sydney Balotin and Grace Evans
The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Girls Varsity Basketball team doesn’t seem phased as they rebound from losing three talented seniors from last season, Meg Hair, Jamie Boeheim, and Kasey Vaughan. The girls plan to work really hard, hopefully resulting in another state championship. “Our big thing this year is going to be our speed because we’re not very tall,” said sophomore Kailey Mckenna.
The first week of tryouts focused on the “evaluation of the players and trying to determine where the best fit is for each player,” said Head Coach Robert Siechen. They worked on skill development while applying to their team concepts.
Coach Siechen has led the girls to three state championships in a row. Siechen said he is never confident in his team’s ability to win states, but he believes the teams skills this season can pull them through, resulting in a four peat.
Teamwork is a big factor in the way this team performs. “No one player is going to win or lose a game,” said Coach Siechen. This year, six new players have joined the team and are learning from the returners. “We have a lot of younger girls this year, so we’re just trying to bring them in and welcome them to the team to make them feel comfortable,” said junior Andrea Sumida.
The team is working to fulfill the roles that Hair, Boeheim and Vaughan all held when they were on the team. Hair and Boeheim have both taken their talents the collegiate level. Hair is a member of the team at the University of Pennsylvania and Boeheim is a member of the team at University of Rochester. “We’re going to work really hard in practice, we’ve got a lot of really good girls that came up from JV,” said Sumida.
The team hopes to carry on last years pre-game traditions into the new season. They can’t share exactly what they do, but it involves a locker room ritual in which they “listen to music and have singing battles,” said junior Sydney Baker. A team favorite is “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” by Deniece Williams according to junior Paige Keeler.
“Winning is not just accomplished on the scoreboard, sometimes we have lost a game where we did what we wanted to do. We have also won games where we did not do what we wanted to do,” said Coach Siechen. Their first league game is home on Dec. 11 against Oswego High School.