A New Beginning

ALYSSA DESAI, freshman

The Lady Hawks’ basketball team is entering the season fully determined to
fulfill a new collective resolution: gaining prominence by leaving a mark on the
basketball courts of JP Stevens. The varsity team consists of twelve members, including seniors, sophomores, and two select freshmen. Leading the Lady Hawks this year are senior captains Neha Bhende, centerforward, and Kavisha Patel, guard. Both state that their favorite part of the season thus far is how the team has become a closeknit family, providing constant support and encouragement for each other.

As far as expectations for the season, captain Neha Bhende says, “We expect to win many more games since we have a good foundation that starts from our
freshmen all the way to our seniors.” The captains specifically look forward
to their upcoming crucial match up against East Brunswick, a tough Red Division team. Neha says, “The hardest part for everyone is learning what the plays are
and how to stay in sync with one another.” Although the Lady Hawks, at a record of 1-17, have not had the most successful of seasons, key players and team unity have sustained the team’s high morale and constant passion for the game.

Another energetic and dynamic Lady Hawk is anticipating a great season with her fellow teammates: small forward Molly Yelencsics. Molly landed a varsity spot as
a freshman is enjoying every minute of the experience. “Playing varsity basketball as a freshman is an awesome experience. It has helped build my confidence and make me feel proud that all my hard work is paying off at such an early stage of my high school career.”

Under the leadership of an all new and versatile coaching staff, the Lady Hawks are learning the skills it takes to develop into a strong, cohesive team. This year’s varsity coach, Amy Bonk, has been crucial in not only developing her team as basketball players but also as individuals. Though this is her first year teaching at the school and coaching at the varsity level, she has already made a significant impact on the newcomers and veterans. When asked about hercoach, captain
Kavisha Patel explained, “Coach Bonk is always there to push me to be the best I can be on and off the court. This year, our coach has emphasized the value of determination, which drives each and every one of us to be leaders.” When asked what she wants to accomplish in her final season as a Lady Hawk, Kavisha talks about her anticipation of winning her Senior Night and Think Pink games.

Teams are often defined by their records; however, our Lady Hawks can be defined by their unwavering determination and passion for the sport of basketball. Even after a season of setbacks, they remain persistent towards achieving new goals as a single, united team.

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