Saints see team with six freshman not as bad sign, but exciting challenge
By Kathy Novak | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Kathy Novak
PHOTO CAPTION: The team has been practicing individually as well as holding group workouts in an attempt to work younger team members into the coach’s system.
“I want our team to work hard … but with commitment as a group … be the best you can be — on and off the court,” said Flagler College women’s basketball Coach Sherri Abbey-Nowatzki.
Having been a coach for 15 years before her start at Flagler, Abbey-Nowatzki knows what it is going to take for this team to reach the top.
At the start of her third season here at Flagler, Nowatzki has had the Lady Saints under a “full-fledge, year round commitment.”
When asked what the Saints’ preseason has looked like these past six weeks, Nowatzki replied, “They have been putting in NCAA mandated 8 hours a week. These hours consist of a combined conditioning, weight training, two hours skill work and individual instruction.”
The team is working to be in the National Women’s Basketball Independent Tournament , which, if the team makes it, will be the first time Flagler will host.
Nowatzki considers this a hurdle for the team as there are seven newcomers — six freshman and a transfer.
Nowatzki says a way to work this out is with “time — lots of time. I really want this team to have comradery — cohesiveness. I have a great group of girls, they go above and beyond in the community, they’re good students and good people. I want them to stay motivated. That’s important.”
What are Nowatzki’s expectations for this season? She keeps it short and sweet saying, “We want to be at about .500 — have a winning season — raise the level of recruiting — and keep building the program?”
This season, one of the biggest hurdles will be losing two seniors, both who were strong team leaders.
Christy Forsyth, who has three varsity letters as a senior, said, “I’d like to make it to the NCAA post-season tournament and to have fun.”
In her last year on the team, Forsyth also wants to have, “a winning season — it would be our first.”
Forsyth feels as though the team has some hurdles ahead as well, stating, “Dealing with adversity — pull together as a team to get through the hurdles. If we do this, we’ll get through everything a lot better.”
Elizabeth Tuzzolo, another senior, agrees with Forsyth’s season expectations and added, “I’d like for us to play to our potential as a team. I want us to have a fun enthusiastic season — make the best of it.”
When asked what she feels are the team hurdles, Tuzzolo responded, “Strength of the schedule is twice as hard as last year. With so much going on this season, it may not reflect our increasing progress.”
Although the Lady Saints are now in a Div. II schedule, with the upbeat attitudes and solid drive exhibited in just a conditioning session, it looks as though they are more than ready to show this new division what they have.
Nowatzki summed up the expectations for not just the season, but the overall program: “We want to raise the bar, but enjoy the process at doing it. I want to put Flagler College Women’s basketball on the map a bit.”
The Lady Saints may have double the season and double the challenge, but the team believe traning, strength and a lot of heart will lead them to success.