Warriors girls basketball faces some challenges this season.
The Warriors have a new coach in Jacques Vachon, who didn't get the call until October, and only three returning players.
Still, with two second-place finishes in preseason tournaments already on their resume, Vachon believes his Lady Warriors show great promise.
“Judging by the last two weeks of play, we have a lot to look forward to with this young team,” Vachon said.
The Warriors returned only seniors Angie Kroeger and Rebecca Kirk and junior Fiona Ferry from last year's 15-9 squad, which earned a trip to the CIF Division 2 tournament.
Gone were five seniors, as well as junior co-captain Dani Peacon, who decided to play soccer instead of basketball this season.
Then, Vachon was appointed to take over as head coach in October.
A longtime youth and private league coach who had never coached a high school team, Vachon said the Warriors were “done a disservice” by his late start.
“The players had little time to get conditioned and acclimated” to his system, Vachon said. “Against all odds, the Lady Warriors are coming together well and at an excellent pace.”
Kroeger, a senior, and junior Ferry were named co-captains. Also on the roster, besides the three returnees, were newcomers Alicia Johnson, Candra Hall, Brianna Mendez, Summer Chapman, Keily Corpus and Stephanie Suarez.
Another addition to the team, America Sanchez, “has been absent due to family reasons and will return to play in January,” Vachon said.
That gives Vachon four seniors, two juniors and four sophomores on his roster.
“The Lady Warriors have a challenging season ahead with unlimited possibilities,” Vachon said. “But they have a lot of hard work ahead, too.”
With two preseason tournaments already behind them, it looks like they're up to the task, Vachon said.
“This past weekend was an excellent example,” he said.
After finishing second in the Highland High School tournament a week earlier, the Warriors went undefeated in three games in their bracket at the Play with Honor Tournament at Shafter last weekend, again claiming second place.
“They have made remarkable progress in three weeks,” Vachon said.