With high school sports it can often be difficult for teams to put together back-to-back strong seasons. Most goods teams will feature at least a handful, if not a majority, of seniors as their key players. Those seniors subsequently graduate and need to be replaced the following season. But for the 2019 Wilcox basketball squad, the excitement is seemingly through the roof in anticipation of the new season.
The 2018 team, which finished second in the De Anza League (8-4), and nearly reached the CCS Championship game, didn’t have a single senior on the roster. In an extremely rare case, the 2019 squad returns every single one of their key players.
“I am super excited for this season, I think we have a great chance to win league,” chimed junior point guard and captain Elise Corwin. “We had no graduating seniors, that’s never really happened before. A lot of the other teams we played had seniors as their best players, so we have a huge advantage in that way.”
“It’s pretty exciting with everyone coming back,” echoed senior guard and fellow captain Anna Neeley. “It feels like we are all still together and have more to build upon.”
In theory, the Chargers’ starting five includes seniors Ellen Collins, Stacey Klassen and sophomore Maison Yee in addition to Corwin and Neeley. However, team depth is a luxury for Head Coach Justin Fujihara. Hali’a Yee has obvious chemistry with her twin sister. Senior Katherine Nguyen plays a very responsible defensive game and sophomores Amanda McDowell and Natalie Getz have the talent to push for starting spots. Not to mention junior forward Liseth Ruezga Garcia can get as hot shooting the ball as anyone on the team.
“We have a big rotation which is really good,” noted Fujihara. “We have 12 capable players on this team and we can extend that all the way out if necessary. Our starters know they can gamble a bit and take a risk, roll the dice [in terms of fouls].”
Wilcox has already won their first three games this season, winning the Sandi Stober Classic tournament at Lynbrook High School. They will play nine more games this month before league play begins in January.