Girls have high hopes for new season

 After finishing third last season, often ranked first, the new season for the SHS girls basketball team brings new expectations, new faces, and a totally different coaching staff. The Broncs lost only three games last season, and graduated only two starters from that team.

 Coach Jessica Pickett leads a team that will look to make it back to the state championship game for the first time in five years. Leading the way will be returning starters such as sophomore Robbi Ryan, who was an All-State selection last year as a freshman, senior Maddy McClure, and junior Taylor Townsend. Also coming back who had a large impact on last season’s team are senior Molly Ligocki and junior Emily Julian, a strong core to compete with the state’s best.

 While it’s very early and hard to predict where a team will end up by the end of the year, this team looks poised and expects to make it to a state final. “I expect that we will really come together as a team and we definitely have the potential to get there to a state championship if we work hard enough and are all on the same page” said Ligocki.

 Cheyenne East, who got second last year, will be strong, as well as Natrona County, who has the advantage of Stanford recruit Kaylee Johnson. Also, perennial favorites like Gillette and Laramie will be competitive for a championship. “East is pretty good, they got a lot of returning players and they got a couple solid seniors, and Natrona… but I think we can compete with any of them” said Julian about the team’s competition.

 A new twist to the girls’ season is their new coach. Last year’s coaching staff is all gone, and replaced by Pickett, Alyssa Lyman, Cody Sinclair, and Stephanie Stender. The team will have to become adjusted to a new style of coaching, a new system of play in addition to the normal tribulations of a season. However, early on, the transition has been smooth. “We are adjusting really well, everyone is really up-tempo and we are all in the mode, everyone’s really paying attention to what the coaches have to say. We’re coming to practice ready to play and run the drills” said Ligocki.

 The girls play their first game against Green River on Dec. 6.