South Windsor's girls' basketball program works as one team

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Dec. 8, 2011
The South Windsor High School girls' basketball junior varsity coach RJ Toner starts off a practice game. Photos by Martha Marteney.
The South Windsor High School girls' basketball junior varsity coach RJ Toner starts off a practice game. Photos by Martha Marteney.

“The best thing for us,” said South Windsor High School girls’ basketball coach Don Leclerc, “is we keep it together as one program, one family.” The 24 girls on the freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams practice together. Leclerc sees the four upperclassmen pushing the younger players, and vice versa. He also sees the teammates teaching each other respect and dignity.

“This year’s team is working a lot harder,” said co-captain Rachel Karlins, comparing the team to last year. Karlins said the team’s close bond translates well onto the court, and can be seen especially in the team’s defense.

Leclerc also noted that the town’s Parks and Recreation travel program provides a good foundation for the players. “The past few years, we’ve gotten some really good basketball players,” he said. This allows the team to get into deeper and more advanced training early.

“The girls are extra talented, even though young,” said co-captain Savannah Gray. Gray is one of the only two seniors on the team, and is the team’s forward or center. “I’m proud of us,” she said. “We’re a great group of girls.”

“The girls know the program is on the rise,” said Leclerc. Last year, the team ended the season with a 9-11 record. The year before, the team went 2-18. “The girls are determined to continue building on that,” he said. “We don’t focus ahead. We focus on the game ahead.”

Leclerc is looking forward to the third annual Shoot for the Cure on Dec. 28. In past years, at least 20 alumni returned to play, with all proceeds donated to the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research and Geno’s Cancer Team. The freshman vs. junior varsity game starts at 5:30, followed by the varsity vs. alumni game at 7 p.m. For more information, e-mail Leclerc at aauball@sbcglobal.net.


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