A change of coaching comes with a fresh start

A new head coach for the Black River Falls girls basketball team is hoping to bring some new skills and better the team for their season.

“The reason I coach is because I have a passion for the game of basketball. My passion started at a very young age, and I have carried this into the current day. I still enjoy playing, but I have found that the coaching has been equally as rewarding for me. I cherish the competition that sports bring to student-athletes and the teaching/learning process that comes with it,” head coach Nate Erikson  said.

Nate plans to bring lots of new energy and enthusiasm onto the court. This season he plans to make the girls the best they can be on and off the court. Without even meeting him he has brought excitement to the team.

“I am super excited for basketball because I feel with a new coach there will be a lot more new things for the team to learn and the possibility for new skills to learn. This year is going to be new for all of us with a new coach and we have a lot more girls coming out for the season which will help come crunch time when we need an extra player,” senior starting shooting guard Jordy Briggs said.

“This season we have a new coach, meaning this year we will have new drills that will hopefully allow us to improve in different aspects of the sport. Some of the drills involve what we need to work on the most, whether it shooting or ball-handling skills. He has a plan to make all of us the best athletes we can be,” junior starting post Heidi Williams said.

Word of the new head coach was buzzing around the school, which created a great turnout for the number of players who returned and also the newcomers.

“I was surprised by the number of players that came out this season. I think this has been a great turnout, and I think the players were a little surprised even to see how many girls came out this season. Now the goal is to retain numbers and build on it moving forward. I believe we added 10 or so girls to the roster this year,” head coach Nate Erikson said.

With new and more players joining the team, there will be more competition for the starting spots on the court.

“I think the girls have come with a great attitude. Obviously, with more girls out, there is increased competition for playing time. I think this is crucial for building a program. Everyone’s spot in the rotation is earned,” Erickson said.

To prepare for her season, senior Jordy had to put in a lot of extra work in the off-season.

“I’ve been playing basketball all summer with friends and it’s given me a little extra confidence for the start of the season,” Briggs said.

This season the team will have higher numbers than normal which is a big change for the team. The change to a new head coach brought 10 more players than there were in the prior seasons. Last year the girls team hardly put together a JV team, making some players play both JV and varsity games.

With all this new energy, the team has high hopes for their season. They will be able to fill both JV and varsity without any worry this season. They may even be able to have a C team. The girls team might have an upper hand this season because of their numbers. The team is going to be full so the varsity spots will be given to the hardest working players.

“We try to compete as much as we can in practice. We control how much energy we come out with tonight, how well we know the plays, and how well we communicate with our teammates. Going into this first game, I emphasized the importance of playing up to our standard of basketball and the rest will fall into place,” head coach Nate Erickson said.