With less than three weeks until the opening tip-off for the 2017-18 season, the women’s basketball players understand how important each practice and workout is. The Lady Cards have been hitting the court for a couple months now, and all the training and exercises are about to pay off when Northwest College comes to Coeur d’Alene on November 17th. With a plethora of returning sophomores, talented freshmen, and an experienced and nationally recognized head coach, The Lady Cardinals are destined to make a lot of noise this year.
Chris Carlson has begun his 14th season as head coach, bringing a colossal amount of experience and success with him. Carlson’s, balance of high expectations and faith in his players is has led to success and national championships. In terms of goals for the season, Carlson had simple objectives.
“[That] the team reaches its potential, and becomes the best basketball team that it can be.”
He considers basketball a tool for players to move on to four year schools, hopefully achieving scholarships.
Job one is winning games. The Lady Cards first practical goal is to win the eastern region of the Northwest Athletic Conference, and enter the sixteen-team postseason tourney as a top seed. Ultimately, the team agrees that this team can take it all and win the NWAC championship.
The odds are good for success in the NWAC, as this is a team who is thinking about each other. That family bond is reflected when questioned about personal goals for the season.
“A high field goal percentage for all of us,” said guard Shelby Jordan.
Individual stats don’t carry much weight with a team who considers their group to be greater than the sum of its parts.
The current roster is well-represented with six players from each year. The returning players bring along experience and hunger to achieve what last year’s squad couldn’t.
“Last year, we didn’t know what to expect, everything was new to us. This year we know what to expect and how to play the game,” said sophomore guard Whitney Meier. Last season’s was a young team, with fewer sophomores to impart their wisdom.
“We have good leadership this year,” agreed sophomores Gia Sorn and Cierra Dvorak.
With renewed leadership, it’s no surprise it was difficult for this group to name one “hardest working player,” although Ronnie Harris was noted. The transfer guard from Billings should bring more leadership and talent to an already loaded sophomore class that boasts four players who averaged 10+ points per game last season.
The spotlight has yet to shine brightly on the incoming freshmen class this year, but come November and December, the new arrivals will have plenty of opportunities to make a name for themselves. Their sophomore leaders have helped the younger players understand that college basketball is a whole new level, and their work and progress is embodying such.
Another primary goal this season is to simply make the fans proud, and represent the school and students fittingly. The team is going to defend home court with a renewed passion and focus and they would love to do it in front of as many NIC fans, faculty, students, and people as possible.
Show your support at the November 17th season opener, game one of the three-day Cardinal Tip-Off Classic.