St. Bernard girls constantly look to improve

By Scott Appleton - Staff Writer
Norwich - posted Tue., Jan. 25, 2011
The St. Bernard girls’ basketball team works through some drills during a recent
The St. Bernard girls’ basketball team works through some drills during a recent practice. Photos by Scott Appleton.

The St. Bernard girls’ basketball team is playing hard this season, but they have come up against some very tough opposition. Their head coach, Mike Nystrom, has been coaching at St. Bernard for 28 years. His love of the game and of coaching is very apparent, and his interaction with his players shows dedication.

During a recent practice on Monday night, Nystrom actively involved himself on the court. Rather than shouting out directions to his players, he got out there and showed them how it was done, again and again, when he deemed it necessary. All of the players were smiling during the practice. They enjoyed it and felt no pressure, yet they sincerely sought to improve their game and they listened well to his guidance.

The team has six wins so far this season, and eight losses. They feel they can do better, but at the same time they are pleased with the results they have achieved so far. “Bacon was probably our toughest opponent this season,” shooting guard Kayla Paris said. It was her attitude that there was no shame in losing to a strong team, but she is looking for everyone to improve, so that they can compete better through the rest of the season’s busy schedule.

They are next scheduled to play Griswold at home on Friday at 7 p.m.

Coach's Corner

Saint Bernard Girls’ Basketball Head Coach Mike Nystrom
28 years as head coach.

The season ahead:
“We just went through five of the toughest teams in eastern Connecticut,” Nystrom said. “We have a good defensive leader – actually, we have a terrific defense team leader – and we have some high scorers, too. These are real nice kids: coachable, and they play hard. I like the type of people they are.”

Complete schedule on


Sports Spotlight: Players to Watch

Erin Amanello
Point Guard
“We have the potential to do better, but we haven’t been shooting as well lately,” Amanello said. “We’re fast, so we like to run with the ball and push the other team forward. I grew up in a neighborhood of all guys, so I used to play a lot of one-on-one.”

Kayla Paris
Shooting Guard
“I love how we’re always moving around in basketball,” Paris said. “Not many people know how to shoot the ball correctly. You need to have good hand to eye coordination. On this team, we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so we play well together.”


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