SEASON PREVIEW: WEST MIDDLESEX
The Ms. Reds, under the guidance of coach Rob Gelesky, are faced not only with the tough task of playing with a slim roster, but will also face, along with the rest of the MCAC Class A, the return of Kennedy Christian to their division.
Complicating things for West Middlesex and Gelesky is the fact that the Ms. Reds, who will only carry about 14 players total, have yet to see their entire team on the floor after a pair of scrimmages.
Senior forward/center Amy Argenziano (5-9) and sophomore point guard Jill Bowser (5-7) haven't seen action yet for the Ms. Reds.
Argenziano is in the latter stages of recovery from a wrist injury sustained during volleyball season. Bowser just returned from a trip to Utah, and both are anxious to get on the court, according to Gelesky, but probably not as anxious as he is to get them on the court.
"We only have 14 total on the team and they will all see playing time," Gelesky said. "Right now we're playing freshmen in key spots."
Add to the current list of casualties sophomore guard Dana Tomko (5-4), who just had surgery and won't be back until sometime in January, according to Gelesky.
Leading the list of healthy returnees is senior guard/forward Michelle Bator (5-8), who will be joined by junior guard Christie Neiswonger (5-6) and junior forward/center Kris Wingard.
Also looking for playing time in Gelesky's lineup will be junior forward Cris Spohn (5-7), and sophomores Gerri Truog (5-5 guard/forward) and Shauna Boitnott (5-9 forward/center).
Freshmen hoping to log varsity minutes include Katie Repko (5-7 guard/forward), Dina Macchia (5-7 guard) and Sarah Penniman (5-5 guard/forward).
"Our two scrimmages Mohawk and Cochranton went pretty well," Gelesky said, who added that in addition to having so many missing people, he will also miss graduated seniors Kris Redmond and Karen Bowser. He characterized both as valuable leaders and "two very strong senior defenders.
"I think we gained a little more size, but probably lost some quickness," Gelesky added. "We had a little more depth last year, even though we only had 16 or 17 girls. That will be a key, we just won't be as deep."
Because of what his team may lack, Gelesky said he hopes to double up in areas like leadership and youth.
"I'm real happy with the way our younger girls have responded," he said. "I think the leadership of Bator and Argenziano will be a factor. Amy has been at practice every day, and hasn't been able to play."
As for the playoffs, the Big Reds are coming off a trek to the District 10 postseason where, according to Gelesky, the Ms. Reds learned a great deal about themselves and their abilities. That, along with the return of Kennedy Christian to the division, will be major factors in where Middlesex lands by season's end.
"Of course, Kennedy being back in class A and having what they have will play a role," Gelesky said. "Also, I think we had our eyes opened last year when we played Conneaut Lake and Saegertown. Both have good teams coming back.
"One of our goals is to get one of those two MCAC spots in Class A. It will be a real battle between Sharpsville, Commodore Perry and us.
Gelesky added that new JV assistant Gaylyn Kuncio, along with volunteer assistant Jack Womer, will help. -- By Herald sports writer Nate Summers
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