By Sean Wing, Sports Reporter

A year ago, FHC had a returning coach with a plethora of seniors. This year, they have two seniors returning and a new head coach in Kristina Prins.

FHC has began to out play their competition. They have had growing pains on their way to a 2-7 record thus far. Although, their last game, a blowout win over Northview, was a bright spot in what has been a tough season. It could be a sign of things to come as the team continues to learn under their first year coach.

Going forward, the Rangers have a new outlook on the season.

“After Christmas Break, we are [going to] reset our record,” junior Emma Yoder said. “It’s a mentality that as a team we are adopting for the rest of the season.  Our first weeks of basketball were an introduction to a new coach, a new style of play, and a relatively young team. We aren’t using that as an excuse but more of a reality that we have a lot of things to learn. We have to learn on the fly. We are confident that we will do well in our conference this season.”

Any time a new coach comes in, there are adjustments to be made. Emma said the loss of so many seniors along with learning a new system has been tough to adjust to so far.

“I think the hardest adjustment this year has been the lack of experience on this team,” Emma said. “The seniors learned the ropes last year, and this year we had to step up and teach. Another adjustment was just getting used to our new coaches. We had to learn their coaching styles and personalities, and they had to figure out how we learn best.”

After losing six seniors from a year ago, the team was concerned about how much chemistry they would have. According to Emma, that’s been the least of their worries.

“This year, the chemistry between the girls on the team is amazing,” Emma said. “We are all super close friends, and I think that helps us a lot. Prins is also really supportive and helpful.”

[pullquote speaker=”Emma Yoder” photo=”” align=”left” background=”on” border=”all” shadow=”on”]One of our strengths is that we are a team with really good chemistry; we all get along really well.[/pullquote]

Starting out 2-7, the girls realize that they have some work to do. Emma thinks if they can limit their turnovers and focus, they’ll be successful.

“We need to focus on taking care of the ball,” Emma said. “We have four goals before every game: limit turnovers, box out, defense, and run the floor. I think our focus for the rest of the season is to do those four things consistently. If we do those, we will start to get the results we want.”

Prins said her team does a great job on the defensive end. She thinks it’s the strength of their team. If the offense fails to click, she knows that they can rely on their defense to keep them in games.

“Our defense is usually our strength,” she said. “Our strength is definitely our ability to shut people down and take them out of the game.”

The team is also going beyond basketball. Throughout our community, the girls are volunteering and affecting peoples’ lives for the better.

“There are more important things than basketball,” Emma said. “On February 3rd, we are hosting a Gold Game for the Pediatric Cancer Program at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. We also have given back to the community through serving at the downtown soup kitchen and a project for Live Like Lucas.”

Even if FHC is off to a slow start, they feel like they’re playing their best basketball now and have big expectations for the rest of the season.

“This season, I think we have a good chance of winning conference,” Emma said. “This season definitely won’t be the prettiest basketball played, but we take pride in giving it our all.  All of the girls throughout the program got shooting shirts that say ‘Never Stops’ and that is what we are going to do, never stop.”