SLA Lady Crusaders Guaranteed League Title
Coach Carolyn Gifford took over the Lady Crusader team in 2011, so she could coach her daughter’s varsity team. Since assuming the role, the team has significantly improved. The girls have worked together to find their common goals and have become more of a family. Coach Gifford was able to figure out how to harness the strength of these girls along with the help of assistant coaches Annie Cunha and Rachel Southard in 2012 and this season Annie Cunha and Mary Agathine. The girls only have one game left and one game standing between them and their league title. Gifford stated, “It would be great for these girls to win the next two games but either way our girls have made history. They are the league champs.”
The girls made a tremendous change and it showed in their play between 2010-11 season and 2011-2012 season. In 2011, the girls finished with a 1-17 record, and 11-5 in 2012. In 2012 the ladies made the playoffs for the first time since 2005, and only the third time ever for the girls. They now will be given a much higher seed this year, given that they win their next two games. The higher the seed the better the chance the SLA girls have to make it deep in the state playoffs. The girls current record is 15-4.
The lady Crusaders only have one game between them and the league title. If they lose their final game, it will be a three-way tie, between Advanced Math and Science Academy, North Brookfield and the Crusaders. Either way, the SLA Girls will get to hang their first league banner in school history. The girls are feeling confident about their game against AMSA on Saturday on their quest to be the sole division champ, and say they are prepared.
Captains Tia Allain and Elena Shand have put a lot of energy into the team this year. They helped keep smiles on our faces and God in our hearts. Seniors Melodie Kukome and Deanna Howard have taken in the younger players and have been shaping them all year. All the seniors and both captains, this year have put a tremendous amount of effort in this year. Now as the playoffs come around they know that we are ready, and so are the younger players.
The coaches and parents are all tremendously proud of their girls and have been extremely committed to the team this season. The varsity teams go out to pizza after some sweeps, and parents spend their Sundays helping prep the gym. Parents join in the practice as tougher, taller defence obstacles. With out the parents and volunteers this year would not have been possible and all the teams would like to thank those involved, even those who just supported from the stands.
When the girls make it this year they will have an extremely strong fan base. The seats have been filled at SLA game after game and this year the girls will host their first home playoff game! All the girls are excited and are ready to bring the fight.