BY COLE McNANNA // Nov. 11, 2016 //
With the amount of youth on the court this winter for the Colonels, returners with minor experience will be heavily relied upon to return the team to a Conference Championship.
It is head coach Fran Elms’ 13th year at the helm of the Curry College Women’s Basketball program and with a crop of six new freshmen to add to his seven returners, 2016 and 2017 looks to be the start of even bigger things to come.
“We’re young but they’re scrappy,” said Coach Elms, who is assisted by Stacey Cotter for the fifth year, her eighth total year with the team.
She went on to add that they’ve graduated 11 seniors over the last two years but have tried to combat that by adding these six new freshmen, two of which will be thrust into the starting lineup.
Sam Bamford from Easton, Massachusetts’ Oliver Ames High School will join reigning Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Year Emily Irwin, returning for her sophomore campaign.
Paige Senatore, the recent graduate of Parker Charter School, fills one of the forward positions alongside another sophomore in Molly Plunkett, who finished last year averaging ten minutes a game.
Junior Nicole Rice will provide the post presence with all 6 feet and 3 inches of her guarding the rim. The lone senior on the squad, Amanda Gresian will provide depth at the forward position while also serving as the upperclassman voice serving as Captain along with Rice.
The coaching staff will look to take advantage of their group of youngsters by implementing their full system one step at a time, breeding these early Colonels to run their game for years to come. Elms noted that, “They show a tremendous amount of ambition to learn, they’re absorbing everything we’re saying.”
Cotter echoed his thoughts adding that “They want it.” It’s been on them to put the work in and they work hard at everything even though they may not end up doing it all right.
Rice and Irwin’s experience is “instrumental,” to the coaches, having the two of them serve as extensions of the staff understanding the playbook but also how to get things done.
Elms said of Rice; “Being a veteran, she knows it’s not just about the plays, it’s about the chemistry. It’s all about them getting along and striving every single practice to get better. It’s understanding that you have to work hard to achieve the goals we want to achieve here and she’s pushing them just as hard as we are.”
Those goals around here include that Conference Finals trip of two years ago, marking the best finish in program’s history. It was their first and only taste of the Finals, and Elms and Cotter could be again embarking on that journey soon again.
“It may seem a little farfetched right now,” Cotter explained, “but who knows? 15 practices from now someone could get better, and away they go.”
The pair is excited for this newest chapter of Curry College Women’s Basketball, starting Tuesday, Nov. 15th in the confines of the Eleanor Meyerhoff Gymnasium as Framingham State makes the trip to Milton.
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