During a year of uncertainties, any team that can enter the season with some sort of chemistry will be at a big advantage.
The BFA-Fairfax girls basketball team has just that, as they will be bringing back their entire roster from a season ago.
“This is a very close-knit team that look out for one another on and off the court,” said head coach Lee Tourville, who is entering his eighth season at Fairfax and sixth as head coach. “We’re excited as a coaching staff to see how much noise this team can make.”
Although the players weren’t able to get their normal offseason routines going due to COVID-19, they were able to make it a productive offseason nonetheless.
“This group of ladies worked hard all summer on an outdoor court and never complained once and continued getting better every day,” said Tourville. “Normally we compete against other schools during the summer, but due to the pandemic we lost those opportunities and made the best of it by working on individual skills this summer.”
The Bullets will be bringing back a strong senior class this season led by captains Jaycee Douglas, who finished last season with 11.7 points, 2.8 steals and 2 assists a game, and Paige Superneau, who had 10.7 points, 2.4 steals and 2.3 assists a game. Both guards were First-Team in the Mountain Division last season.
Courtney Burnor and Hazel Albee return after they led the team in rebounds last season. Burnor finished last year with 137 and Albee had 93 while averaging 7.9 points a game. Albee also finished on the Honorable Mentioned All-State Team in the Mountain Division last season.
Other returning players include Madison Murphy, Britney Hamel, Samantha Bidwell, Faith Benjamin and Taylor Duquette.
Newcomers to the team this season are junior Samantha Haselman, sophomore Dahlia Maynard and freshman Forest Skillman.
With the most of the team being returning players from last season, the chemistry and way the team gels could be an advantage throughout the season for the Bullets.
“We feel our strengths will be defense and playing together as one team,” said Tourville.
The Bullets are looking to build on last year’s record after they finished 12-8 and went into the Division III playoffs as the No. 10 seed.
The team has been practicing since Jan. 11 and is ready to kick off their 2021 campaign. They begin the season on the road at Danville on Monday Feb. 15.
The Bullets will only play two of their seven games at home this season with the first on Feb. 25 against Hazen and the last on March 5 against Enosburg.
“I’m sure it will be special for the seniors to play their final two games on their home court this season,” said Tourville. “It will be tough without fans, because Fairfax fans have always packed the gym and created an awesome atmosphere for our teams and they will definitely be missed this season.”