Despite coming off a three-win season, confidence has been building for the Cumberland Regional High School girls basketball team.
"The biggest thing after going through a couple seasons with losing records is giving the girls the confidence that they can compete and can win some games," coach Todd Jorgenson said. "It's really the psychological or mental part of the game, that is something we have to drill."
The Colts will need to find a way to replace the leadership and play of Katie McCormick, whom they lost to graduation.
Raykena Brown will be the senior expected to fill that leadership role. She was a captain last season.
"We have some leadership coming back and the girls did a pretty good job of getting to summer practices and playing in the summer leagues over at Delsea," Jorgenson said. "I think we'll see a little bit of improvement this year."
Brown is a tenacious defender.
"She's quick, she's aggressive and she swats at the ball," Jorgenson said. "Ray's strength is her defensive presence, especially on the other team's point guards, just to pressure the ball coming up the floor."
Junior Jodi Cook is quietly one of Cumberland's best "stat-accumulators" as Jorgenson put it. She does the little things that don't get noticed but show up on the scoresheet.
Contact John Russo:
League: Tri-County Conference Diamond
Group: South Jersey Group III
Coach: Todd Jorgenson (11-39, two seasons)
2012-13 record: 3-22
2013-14 prediction: Rebuilding - The Colts should show improvement over last year's three-win season.
Key players: Raykena Brown Sr., 5-4, G; Jodi Cook Jr., 5-7, F; SyDonnie Dawkins So. 5-7, G/F; Vashti Hannah So. 5-7, G/F; Victoria Nichols Jr., 5-5, G; Sarah Smith Jr., 5-6, G.