SLA Varsity Basketball 2012-13

Coaches Carolyn Gifford (left) and David Cady (right) standing with the 2011-2012 SLA Girls Varsity team for the National Anthem at St. Mary’s.

It’s finally here!

The SLA Varsity Basketball rosters are in.  Will the teams have another winning season? The SLA Pioneer sat down with head coaches, Carolyn Gifford and David Cady, to get the scoop on their outlook for the upcoming season. Last season both girls and boys varsity teams made it to the first round of plays offs, and both teams went no further. The coaches are looking forward to this season and are thrilled its finally here.

Q: What is the most difficult decision a coach has to make during the course of the season?

Carolyn Gifford: “Who to play and who not to play. I want to see everyone have fun.”

David Cady: “One of the bigger challenges working with SLA, in a smaller school setting, has been keeping all the players involved with the team. Often times there is a wide range of playing ability and it is hard to get the right mix of teammates on the court at the same time,  as they end up sitting on the bench a lot.That’s not fun for the player or the coaches.  It is part of the learning process and something that we, coaches, work hard at.  To help the players who are still learning the game understand that they are not just going to get the same amount of playing time as players who have been involved in basketball from very early on.  We have some players this year who have been involved in competitive play from the 1st grade!One of the other difficult decisions is having to “sit a player down” as a result of their unwillingness to work with the team or within a certain game plan.”

Q: How do you pick team captains?

Gifford: “It will be a joint decision among the coaches. Our process has been changed, in past year the girls have been allowed to pick their captain, but that lead to the most popular girl normally. This year captains will not be picked for the first few weeks of this season. The assistant coaches and I will observe the players and take note of who keeps the teams spirits up and always leads them to do the right thing on and off the court. It’s all based off timeliness,  enthusiasm, and leadership.”

Cady: “Being a captain is NOT THE BEST PLAYER, or NOT THE MOST POPULAR GUY, it’s really about being a great leader amongst your peers.   Sometimes a captain is the least popular guy because he won’t go along with the crowd…he’s also the guy who never misses practice, comes early and stays late, works on his game skills outside of practice time becoming the best he can be.”

“When it comes to choosing I make a “short list” of potential guys and then have my assistant coaches do the same.We compare notes and look at strengths and weaknesses. The assistant coach Francisco (Cuco) Ramos and I pretty much see eye to eye on everything the team does and that goes with choosing captains as well.  Our lists have been almost always the same over  the last 6 years.”

Q: What skills do you value you most from your players on a regular basis?

Gifford: “Skill sets, ball handling, shooting, eagerness [and]  teaching ability. [In other words] a player that is willing to be taught. This year we have five to six slots open from who are not here. I have to look for a player with the skill sets and attitude to fill those positions.”

Cady: “As a coach I am looking for players who demonstrate commitment and are able to be coached. Being able to be coached is all about being a hard worker and an even better listener.  There are lots of frustrating things about putting a team into play but one of the most frustrating is when a player just doesn’t seem to listen and keeps doing the same thing over and over…this is one of our challenges and it’s the kind of thing that keeps us up at night – trying to figure out how to get through to the guy who has the ability but doesn’t get to use it because he won’t listen and change his behavior.”
“What we look for in a team is developing into a “Family”!  That’s what this is really all about.  As teammates we are there for each other in practice and games but must as important we are tight-knit outside of the game too.”

Q: What do you feel are going to be your strong points this year?

Gifford: “Post players and rebounding. My post players have been playing for years and are very experienced in what they do.”

Cady: “For this year’s team we have a great bunch of Seniors who are going to really be able to lead this team.  I expect that these guys will continue to come together as a tight-knit group as well as bringing together the rest of the younger guys – making them better day in and day out.  We’re not a really tall or big (sized) team but we do have some really good quickness that we will use to counter our competition.  I have a feeling too that this year we’ll see some breakout play from some of our freshman, sophomores and juniors too.”

Q: Since you both made it to the first round of playoffs last year, what do you plan on doing this season to build on that success?

Gifford: “It would be just huge to make it to second round. I hope to have a higher seed at the start of playoffs. We will get out what we put in. I am very competitive and [I] dream big. I would love to take a group to states, but i am just going to enjoy the ride.”

Cady: “Our goal are the same this year as they always are and our credo – “God, Family, School, Basketball” is something that we will keep living by. First of all we want a winning season to qualify for Districts.  Secondly we will be looking to win our league this season, last year we came up 1 win short in the league to tie for 1st place and 2 wins to be league champion.  I’m confident we’ll contend for this spot this season too.  Lastly of course we have the goal of winning our District 3 playoffs.”

2012-13 Varsity Rosters

Varsity Boys
Seniors: Ethan Comley, Adam Gagnon, Helio Ferreira, David Cady, Kofi Omane
Juniors: Brandon Beneche, Pablo, Lucas Raposo, Luis Reveron, Ethan Severin
Sophomore: Leonardo Zamo
Freshman:  Nick Morin

Varsity Girls
Seniors: Deanna Howard, Latia Allain, Lydia Felt, Melodie Kukome, Rosalba Valera.
Juniors: Janice Grunder, Elena Shand
Sophomores: Lisa Gifford, Kathy Andreu, Nakeyah Williams
JV alternates: Rosyris Collado, Isadora Ferreira

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Posted on November 29, 2012, in Sports, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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