SSN Season Preview: Girls Basketball

Evan Miller

With the departure of 2020 Indiana Miss Basketball, Sydney Parrish, the Lady Royals prepare for a new season with new leadership. Royals girls basketball head coach Chris Huppenthal is up front about the challenges they have faced this offseason, not just with the departure of Parrish, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well.

“It has been a difficult offseason because of COVID,” Huppenthal said. “Our team lost many starters over the past 2 years and because of that, we will be young and inexperienced. We could have benefitted from the summer, but despite all of this, we have been progressing just fine.”

With the graduation of Parrish, leadership has shifted to senior Lydia Self. In the midst of very troubling times in the United States, Self says this isn’t going to be a typical year.

“We have had to be smart and conscious of everything that we have done as a team,” Self said. “We weren’t able to have a normal off-season, but we have worked hard these past couple of weeks to be prepared for hopefully a full season. We are all really excited to have the opportunity to play this year, so it’s given us a little extra motivation going forward.”

Aside from Parrish, seniors Jackie Maulucci, Brianna Baker, Bailee Poore, and Lauren Morris also graduated, leaving the Royals with very few upperclassmen.

“We always try to keep the players that know how to compete and understand our standards,” Huppenthal said. “Our players this year have embraced the opportunity to be a Royal and carry on the legacy that was laid before them. I am not sure what our record will be, but I’m confident we will compete for 32 minutes.”

Despite the difficulties of losing four seniors and a global pandemic raging in America, Self and the Royals are keeping their eyes set on the season ahead.

“In this hectic time especially, we are just pushing to keep everyone focused and committed towards one common goal,” Self said. “As a team, we all know we have to step up in the upcoming season and be prepared to do our individual roles, whatever that may be, to the best of our abilities to benefit the team.”

It seems clear that the Royals aren’t fazed by any of the roadblocks that they have faced and they are embracing all challenges that come with these uncertain times.