Girls varsity basketball strives to work as a team in new season


Senior Payton Johnson plays against Milford in a girls varsity basketball game during the 2017-2018 season. Photo courtesy of Payton Johnson.

Aryn Gallacher , Staff Writer

As the clock strikes 2:30, senior Payton Johnson’s afternoon is just getting started. While other students get ready to head home for the day, she stays at RHS and meets up with the girls varsity basketball team to head to the gym for a few hours.

In order to prepare for the start of the new season, which began Dec. 4, the players spent the time leading up to it getting in shape and improving their skills.

“In order to prepare for the season, we have been doing a lot of strength training, conditioning and open gyms,” Johnson said. “[We have also been doing] off season league work to prepare the more inexperienced players to play as a real varsity team.”

During preseason workouts, the girls basketball team switched back and forth from practicing drills to working on their physical strength. According to girls varsity basketball coach Jeff Haney, the team utilizes the RHS school workout room when they are not playing basketball in the gym.

“We’ve been in the gym doing four-player workouts and open gyms for the past month and a half,” Coach Haney said. “We are currently doing strength training and conditioning drills each day after school to get ready for the start of our season on Nov. 12.”     

Heading into the season, returning varsity players set personal goals in order to have something to work toward as the winter months approached.

“My goal this season is to strengthen the program,” junior Laura Kucera said. “The last couple of years was hard for the girls basketball program. My hope is that we will once again unite as a team.”

However, Johnson stresses that basketball is a team sport in which players only succeed by working as a whole. With this, there are many achievements the team hopes to aim for together as they work on strengthening their weaknesses.

“Our main goals for the season have got to be just learning to work together and play like a varsity team,” Johnson said. “With only four returning players, it’s going to be a big adjustment, but we’ve already been trying our hardest to work out the rough patches in the off season so we’ll be prepared for the first game.”

The girls basketball team will face some obstacles in this season, especially after finishing last year with an overall losing record.

“Our biggest challenge will be acclimating to the varsity level and the challenges that come with that,” Coach Haney said. “I believe this is something we can overcome.”

Although the team is working on building up each player so they are able to perform at a varsity level, Kucera believes they will succeed this season with their mental strengths and abilities.  

“This year, our team will show a strong mindset,” Kucera said. “We have been working on being mentally tough. It doesn’t matter how strong your players are, because if you don’t have the right state of mind, you won’t succeed.”

The RHS girls varsity basketball team members feel excitement for the new season. 

“I’m very excited for the upcoming season,” Johnson said. “I definitely think that the younger players will step up to the plate and do a great job!”