Losing one player from the previous year's graduating class is often times a good thing for a sports program. With that one person being Brittany Hinkle, Weatherly's sole big girl from a year ago, that might not be a good thing after all.
Hinkle's departure means sixth year head coach Paul Hadzick will have to shuffle things around a bit in 2011-12 if Weatherly wants to improve on last seasons's(9-13 record.
Hadzick is planning on doing just that.
The Lady Wreckers of a year ago would utilize Hinkle's 5-11 size to generate offense and defensively, use her to neutralize the opponents' inside game.
Despite the loss of Hinkle, the optimism and realism is apparent, when it come to this year's outlook.
"We're looking at this season one game at a time," said Hadzick. "We expect to be competitive because we do have a strong nucleus back from our team a year ago, but it's going to be tough to do in our division."
In terms of competition, the Wreckers have the tough task of facing off against Marian, Nativity BVM, Shenandoah Valley and Mahanoy Area.
Regardless, Hadzick and his girls remain undaunted by their slate of teams they will play against. The Wreckers have a reputation of constant hustle, strong defense and quick guard play, and will need to continue that constant effort to stay with their division foes.
"When you're a small school, like we are, you have to fight, kick, punch and try whatever in order to be competitive," Hadzick related. "If we come out and play five strong, we'll be fine."
Speaking of "five strong" that Hadzick mentioned, the Wreckers have more-than-capable returning letterwinners up and down the roster.
Three seniors will beef up the lineup in Tracy Galada (5-4, G), Jaime Dougherty (5-5, F), and Alicia Panzarella (5-3, G).
Backing up those seniors and battling equally for playing time will be three juniors in Sara Heister (5-4, G), Alexis Byorski (5-6, F) and Erin Dougherty (5-4, F).
"Between those girls, our team is going to have a lot of speed," Hadzick commended. "We're going to need to be quick, too, because we obviously lack height."
Others that will be contributing to the boxscores as the season progresses will be junior Devon Bazarre (5-4, G), sophomore Dominique Adamczyk (5-6, F), and two freshmen in Jessica Polthin (5-5, G) and Kelly Parker (5-6, F).
"If the kids come to games ready to play and don't psyche themselves out, they'll be fine," Hadzick admitted. "I just think that mentally, we need to give ourselves a shot in some of these games against the bigger-named schools that we'll be playing against."
Despite this minor fault that the WHS head coach sees as potentially problematic, the overall amount of optimism remains steadfast.
Breaking down his team's plan of attack, Hadzick continues with the promising attempt of remaining with his strengths. "Our overall team speed is a quality that we will be able to rely on," he mentioned. "Our shooting is going to be strong and something that I think will only improve as the season goes on. We can still go inside, despite our lack of height, but it is still an option."
Recently, the Lady Wreckers had a scrimmage and Hadzick felt his team had an off night. "In our scrimmage, I thought we had an awful night shooting," he observed. "But defensively, I think we did fine. That is something we will be able to count on this season – our pressure and defense."
Opposing teams of Weatherly should continue to expect a strong press and man-to-man defense. "Expect pressure, because hopefully that will get us motivated and then generate offense from that defense," Hadzick commented.
If this season is anything like seasons in the past, opposing teams should not be looking past the Wreckers, because with Hadzick at the helm and the roster filled with talent, they'll be bringing the intensity and striving for that win.