Santa Fe Women’s basketball team starts off their season Friday night against Martinique. Chanda Stebbins enters her 14th season as the team’s head coach and will be looking to improve on their 19-11 season last year.
A New Team
Stebbins will have her hands full this year with many of her previous starters having graduated. The team will lose over 90% of their minutes played and more than 90% of just about every statistical category they record including points, rebounds and assists. The team will only have one returner in point guard Gryselle Sepulveda.
While the team will not return as many as they would have liked, that does not make it a lost season. The locker room will be full of fresh faces and a new team.
The Saints will welcome two sophomore transfers Julie Fournier and Ivana Boyd. Fournier is a Fernandina Beach HS grad and a former walk on from FAU. Boyd will be transferring from Lamar University and will be looked at as one of the veteran leaders of the team.
The Saints will also have what looks to be a promising Freshman class. The class will be led by the 5’9” combo guard led by Stephanie Jackson from McKinney, Texas. Jackson can shoot and will also be looked at to lead the team. Rhea Smith, a 6’2″ post from South Charleston, West Virginia, who has shooting range and a rebounders body. Another combo guard, Janasia Law, will look to help the team just like her mother, Lanita Bartley, helped the Florida basketball team in the early 2010’s.
The team’s issues aren’t just the lack of veteran leadership. The Saints will also be need to deal with some early injuries. To overcome this adversity, Stebbins knows that the healthy players need to be versatile and adaptable.
Stebbins will be able to use this versatility to her advantage. Santa Fe has recruited many players who can play multiple positions for just this reason. The Saints needed players who are able to fill the holes left behind by graduating and injured players.
Stebbins says that the team will be able to overcome this adversity and will be very fun to watch.
Knowing Your Strength
The new Freshman class brings a lot of offensive firepower to the team. This is something that may have been missing in the past but Chanda Stebbins knows that their strength will not be on the offensive side of the ball.
Stebbins has made it clear that their points will be generated by defense. Creating turnovers and fast-break points will be the core of how the team wins games. Stebbins has also mentioned that she wants to give opponents mismatch problems. She feels the team has the ability to play many different styles and can adjust the score in many different ways.