After an ACAC Championship quarterfinal appearance last season, the SAIT Trojans women’s basketball team has higher goals this season, with a mix of returning players and new blood.
“We’re always going to dream big,” said head coach Ranbir Parmar.
“Nationals are in Edmonton this year, so the deal is we get ourselves to Edmonton in the middle of March.”
The Trojans will be welcoming seven new players to this year’s roster, which Parmar said will lead to a new style of play in comparison to last season.
Parmar said the majority of the new players are guards, with only one forward joining.
“What we lack in size, we’re going to have to make up for in quickness,” said Parmar.
“The pressure is on them to step up in that area.”
It will also be up to returning players, such as second-year forward Jocelyn Skrilec, to help ease the pressure and be leaders for the first-year players.
“This year, I have a leadership role, especially since I’m a forward,” said Skrilec.
“There’s few of us forwards, so those that have the experience need to make it work and take a leadership role.”
Skrilec said with a year of experience now under her belt, she’s a lot more confident and ready to help lead the team.
“I’m really looking forward to making some differences on the court this year.”
Another returning player who will be counted on for production and leadership is third-year guard Martina Allen.
Allen said she’s excited for the new group of players joining the team, and can see a lot of positives happening this season.
“All the rookies are willing to learn and work very hard, so I think it’ll be good,” said Allen.
The Trojans have made it to the Provincial Championship each season Allen has been on the team, and she said she’s “looking forward to getting back there again.”
The Trojans began exhibition play on Sept. 29 when they hosted the Fall Classic tournament, and faced off against the Grand Prairie Regional College Wolves.
Parmar said the Fall Classic is a great opportunity for the new players to get their feet wet, and to play in an actual game.
“Wins and losses don’t matter at this point of the season,” said Parmar.
“It’s meant to be a learning process for us.”
This type of exhibition play gives players the opportunity to get used to each other and their new style of play, but also a chance for the first-years to show what they can do in game situations.
We’re always going to dream big. – Ranbir Parmar
“Practice is just practice, and sometimes you see different things out of players in games,” said Parmar.
“We’re going to be at the point where our exhibition play sets up our league play, so they’re going to be out there earning minutes.”
The Trojans also played the Keyano Huskies and the King’s University Eagles to close out the Fall Classic.
The regular season gets under way for the Trojans on Oct. 29 against the Briercrest College Clippers.