Upbeat coach sees talent in new team
Writer: Cody Brumbaugh, Sports Writer
November 2, 2011
Filed under Sports
With mental toughness, extra effort and impressive depth in the lineup, City College’s women’s basketball team hopes to make the playoffs for a seventh straight season.
It doesn’t matter to head coach Sandrine Krul that she has only five players returning from last season. If the season started today she wouldn’t know who her starting five would be, and still that is not an issue. Why? All of her players are stars.
“We don’t have ‘A’ star,” Krul said. “Last year we had 4 players who averaged double digits in scoring. We have a system where we don’t just rely on one player.”
Krul said her holistic approach to coaching is firmly rooted in the team motto “maximum effort, extra effort” or MTXE. Her players buy into this motto just as much as she does. They are nearly obsessed with it.
“If you work hard and show you’re going a hundred percent—coach will be happy,” sophomore captain Jennifer Jimenez said.
It also doesn’t hurt to have depth as well. The squad sports many multi-position athletes that allow coach to work favorable matchups against many different opponents.
“We are very deep at each position,” Krul said. “It’s nice our big players can run so we can go big and run the ball or play half court sets. It gives us a lot of options.”
With 14 freshmen, the squad is loaded with youthful talent. Elia Salazar out of Marshall High School in L.A., and stand out Sara Crane out of local Dos Pueblos is battling with returning player Mercedes Gonzalez for a starting spot in the post.
The guard position is even more heated as freshman Veronica Zavala and Katie Grande, both out of Ventura High School, battle with returning captains Brooke Berry, Leslie Steele and Jennifer Jimenez for time in the back court.
“This year we’ll have our deepest bench yet at both guard and forward,” Krul said.
She doesn’t think it’s a problem. Neither do the captains.
“I am comfortable knowing that if someone comes in for me I have confidence that they’ll keep the level of play up—it’s expected,” sophomore captain Leslie Steele said.
While the team may be deep on the bench, their depth shows beyond the court as well. On Saturday, Oct. 22, the team hosted a surf fest community swap meet. Players helped organize and run a swap meet that helped community surf merchants, and sold raffle tickets to benefit the Transitions Program.
“We try to have a good relationship with the community,” Jimenez said. “We really appreciate our fans because they come out and support us.”
City College’s women’s basketball team opens its season at 5 p.m. on Nov. 10 at Reedley College. The team’s home opener is just a week later as they host their annual MTXE tournament.