2011-12 Winter Preview: Whole new ballgame for New Life girls basketball teamThe 2011-12 New Life Academy girls basketball team won’t look much like the 2010-11 version.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
The 2011-12 New Life Academy girls basketball team won’t look much like the 2010-11 version.
In addition to adding a new head coach, New Life Academy had to say good-bye to a pair of longtime stars in the offseason.
Ruth Ann Pederson takes the reins as the Eagles head coach from Paul Mork, who led the team the past three seasons.
In addition to Mork, New Life Academy will be without 2011 graduates Rebekah Schmidt and Cara Lutes for the first time in a long time. The two girls each played for the New Life varsity team since they were eighth graders. Their careers included a Class A third-place finish at state in 2008 and Section 4A titles in 2008 and 2009.
Last year, New Life closed its 2010-11 season with a 44-37 Section 4A final loss to defending Section 4A champion Maranatha Christian Academy.
The 10th-ranked and top-seeded Eagles had defeated second-seeded Maranatha twice last year, before the finals. NLA finished the season at 20-8, including with a magnificent run of winning 15 of their last 19 ball games.
Returning to help lead the Eagles this season, on and off the court, will be senior Taylor Paulson, who will act as team captain. Other key players this winter will likely include Matty Steele and Allie Schmidt.
“The NLA varsity team is a young, athletic team and this season will be a building year,” Pederson said.