With a school record 26 wins and the first league title in school history behind them the Jim Thorpe Lady Olympian basketball team embarks on a new journey in the Schuylkill League returning four starters.
"We are cautiously optimistic. I mean we return a nice group from last year. The nucleus of the team that went undefeated in the regular season was able to go on and win a Schuylkill League championship and able to appear in the district final. We return four starters from that squad a year ago. So obviously there are some good building blocks there but we also realize at the beginning of the season that everybody starts off (0-0). Still it's a new season and with that we enter with new challenges," said Rob.
The fabulous freshman class led by guard Skylar Searfoss and her 523 points can only get better. The hard work the team put in the summer might make the difference.
"Yeah last year was great but this year it's going to be a different atmosphere. We have some good freshman coming in and the sophomore class is strong and even senior leaders so everyone just has to step up and play their role for us to win," said Skylar.
"Last year we did really well but this season we really need to work on our defensive aspects and I think that fans our going to be surprised with us this year," said Leila.
Playing in the Schuylkill League you play in one of the toughest leagues in the state and there are a class of kids that are loaded at the top in Division I. So these Lady Olympians know there's no automatic wins. They are going to have to go out and earn every victory.
"It's going to be a war on a nightly basis. Division I alone if you look at some of the top teams everybody is either returning five starters or four starters including Tamaqua, Pine Grove, Blue Mountain, North Schuylkill. North Schuylkill just has a tremendous freshman class," again said Rob.
"What's it like playing in the Schuylkill League? It's good! I mean every team is going to come for us this year. So every night we are going to have to give it our best. It's a fight. And we are taking 8 teams to the playoff this year. So it will be a fight," added Skylar.
Jim Thorpe has a few early tests in the month of December against Pottsville and Tamaqua. Steve Lloyd reporting for Newswatch 16 sports from Carbon County.