The Holland Christian ladies basketball program is coming off a successful 14-8 season, finishing 2nd in its conference.

But for the Maroons to construct on that success this year, some brand-new faces are going to need to step up.

Roster turnover is a typical thing in high school sports, but not to this extent. The 2021 Holland Christian girls will not include a single starting player from last year’s team. All 5 of them, including the group’s two leading scorers, graduated.

Fourth-year coach Heather Swierenga stated that while it will be difficult to change what those graduates gave the group, the culture they assisted create has penetrated through the entire lineup.

” I think the excellent thing about the legacy is those 6 seniors pressed my juniors, [who are] now seniors, every day for an entire season,” Swierenga said. “Therefore, my current seniors understand what is expected and what it requires to make a season occur, and make a competitive go at a conference.”

The lineup is full of senior skill again this year, with 5 girls set to play their final high school basketball season. Senior forward Reagan Grotenhuis said she’s ready to handle a much larger function.

” I seem like there is a bit of pressure, but I’m really all set to go,” Grotenhuis stated. “We have actually been understanding that this has been coming, understanding that season would be various than any other season, and we have actually been preparing mentally and physically for that.”

However deeper on the lineup, there’s a multitude of gifted newcomers also. Swierenga stated she anticipates to have 6 sophomores on the university group when the season begins in February. Those more youthful players have actually come in and battled with the more knowledgeable gamers, which has helped the team enhance as a whole.

” They are probably the most competitive six kids I have actually coached in a long time. And they’re keeping my juniors and elders on their toes,” Swierenga said. “Having that inter-squad competition has actually been actually handy.”

Those younger players, though they have the raw talent and drive to affect the game on the court, they’ll still need some mentorship. It’s hard to leap to the varsity level at a leading program at such a young age.

Grotenhuis has been tabbed as one of the gamers anticipated to take them under her wing. She said she prepares on ensuring they always know that they are essential to the team, even if they are having a hard time at the university level.

” I think that the sophomores truly do have a lot of talent and are going to include a ton [to the group],” Grotenhuis said. “I do not think it will be an incredibly difficult transition because they’re very skilled, however I think the support and encouragement will be useful.”

With such high lineup turnover, a typical offseason would be full of group structure exercises and a lots of training. But this year was the outermost thing from typical.

The Maroons have actually moved their focus for the time being from lofty season goals to more day-to-day goals. Swierenga sends out exercises for her players to do in the house to remain in shape for the season. An average day could include a yoga exercise or a timed mile run. If the goals aren’t fulfilled, the team is required to run, similar to they would at a typical practice.

The nontraditional nature of the offseason has positioned a bigger focus on taking pleasure in the time the group invests together, whether that’s virtually or personally. While wins and losses are still a crucial aspect of the team’s success, amateur sports have constantly had to do with far more than that.

” Anytime that we get together, we got to treasure it,” Swierenga stated. “Even when we’re satisfying on Google Meets and we can laugh and joke around, that’s type of what high school basketball [is everything about] it’s those little moments that we can reside in.”

Between the massive overhaul in personnel and needing to handle the around the world pandemic, getting ready for this season has actually been a challenge for Holland Christian.

But when the ball gets tipped on opening night, they’ll be prepared.

” It’s gon na be an obstacle. However this whole year has actually been a difficulty and I have actually seen my women recover from a great deal of obstacles,” Swierenga said. “So I can be nervous about it or I can just be confident. I’m going to choose confidence in my senior citizens.”

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Will Kennedy at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ByWillKennedy and Facebook @Holland Guard Sports.