Edgewood returns just two starters from last year’s team that finished with two wins but second-year coach Randy Vencill is excited about what he has seen out of the Warriors in the preseason.
“We have definitely added some young talent but we also lost two senior starters from last year’s team so it will be a rough go but I have confidence the girls will give it their all,” Vencill said. “The team’s strength is that they are actually a team and all work together for the common goal. There are no ‘I’ players. All the girls are learning together and make each other better.”
Despite their relative youth and lack of size, the Warriors hope to remain competitive. To do that, they’ll have to take care of the basketball, create quality shots and focus on playing lockdown defense.
Senior Nikki Pendleton and junior Sidney Melaragno are the team’s returning starters.
Pendleton is a 6-foot center while Melaragno is a 5-foot-5 guard.
“Nikki will be our senior leader and we will look to her to lead our team this year,” Vencill said. “Sid will have to handle the ball a lot this year and we look to get scoring from her.”
Junior Heather Farr and freshmen Alaina Neczeporenko and Kaci Kanicki round out the projected starting lineup.
Farr is a 5-foot-6 forward, Neczeporenko is a 5-foot-5 guard and Kanicki is a 5-foot-9 guard.
“Heather is one of the hardest workers I know. She is learning a new position this year so I look for her to learn and improve game by game,” Vencill said. “(Neczeporenko and Kanicki are) our younger players and will have to do a lot of ball handling. There will be some growing pains, I’m sure, but (they) will do a great job for us.”
Vencill also expects key contributions from senior Sara Howard, juniors Jasmine Steighner and Braxtin Adams and sophomore Maddie Bailes.
Howard is a 5-foot-4 guard while Steighner is a 5-foot-11 forward.
“We will look to Sara to be our sharpshooter this year,” Vencill said. “We will look to Jasmine to help us as an inside presence and be a team leader. She is one of the hardest workers on the team.”
Adams is a 5-foot-9 forward and Bailes is a 5-foot-9 guard/forward.
“Braxtin will give us extra help on the inside this year. She is a hard-working forward that gives 100-percent,” Vencill said. “Maddie is one of the best athletes on our team. She will help us tremendously this year with her athleticism and energy.”