WELLSBURG-Ryan Scherich's first season at the Brooke High School girls' basketball helm didn't turned out exactly as he had planned.
The rebuilding Bruins' squad managed five victories and despite having only two seniors returning this winter, Scherich is hoping to see a marked improvement in the victory column.
''I want to see us be a lot more competitive against everybody on our schedule,'' the former Brooke High athlete said. ''The girls learned a lot and so did I in my first year as their head coach. We are doing some things differently and the kids seem to be working harder and showing more aggressiveness and hustle.''
Brooke does have a solid rock to build its team and future around with 6-foot-1 sophomore Angela Staffileno returning for her second season as a starter. Staffileno enjoyed an impressive freshman season when she averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots per game. Those overall numbers earned Staffileno a second-team berth on the All-Valley squad.
Other key returning players are seniors Juliet Casinelli (5-6) and Marena Cline (5-4), along with junior Michaela Hinerman (5-4). All three lettered last season and Casinelli will be seeking to become a three-year letter recipient this season.
The rest of the youthful roster includes junior Ashley Sherman (5-3); sophomores Emily Stuck (5-6), Natalie Fowler (5-7) Lauren Altobell (5-6), Krista D'Ulise (5-6) and Isabella Preston (5-6) along with freshmen Sabrina Duffy (5-3) and Payge Farmer (5-5).
''We are again very young and have a lot to learn. But these kids definitely want to turn things around. It's been a while since the school has had a winning season and all of us are tired of losing,'' Scherich said. ''The schedule is very tough as usual. But we have to find a way to compete with these teams.''
Perennial Region One area powers Morgantown, Wheeling Park, John Marshall, University and Parkersburg South will play the Bruins twice each. All of those squads show up on the schedule except for Parkersburg South during the month of December which could hamper Brooke's hopes for a quick start.