|Big Park girls eye small schools title|
|Written by Brian Bergner Jr.|
|Friday, 18 November 2011 00:00|
The Big Park Community School girls basketball team lost 10 eighth-graders to graduation in May but second-year Head Coach Amy Parrella believes this year’s squad might be even better than the one last season.
“I’m shocked at how much the kids have grown; they are all super strong. I’ve got 11 strong players, and I look forward to coaching them. They have a good chance to be even better than last year’s team,” Parrella said.
Big Park finished the 2010-2011 season with a solid 11-3 overall record. Rival Camp Verde Middle School was the only team to beat the Coyotes last season, doing so three times including the third and final time in the Verde Valley Athletic Association Small Schools Tournament title game.
The Coyotes finished second overall, but chose not to attend the state tournament, leaving their record at 11-3 overall.
With 10 eighth-graders gone, most coaches would be pulling their hair out because of needing to start over. That is not the case for Parrella.
Top returners for the Coyotes include only eighth-graders Annie Parrella, who should play the point guard position this season, and Jessica Kirkham, who should be in the post.
Top newcomers include a pair of eighth-graders, Ashley Sutherland and Emily Bailey, along with standout seventh-graders Xan Hawes, Sophia Perry and Taylor Ryan. Even sixth-grader Liza Westervelt has impressed in the early season practices.
“Liza [Westervelt] has a phenomenal shot; it’s going to be fun to watch her develop,” Amy Parrella said.
Big Park begins its regular season schedule at home this year, opening with Clarkdale-Jerome School on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.