Tonawanda News — “This is the group now, coming up, we have three ninth graders and an eighth grader we’ve been waiting since they were eight years old (for them) to get up here,” Chimera said.
Chimera added that there is also a core of girls in that same group who will start the season on JV, but are also exceptionally skilled and has the coaching staff drawing comparisons to their 2002 Class A state title team.
Lina Mirabella, Sarah Caputi and Lauren Pray also return.
Second-year coach Samantha Rajski has one basic demand of her players day in and day out: compete.
Rajski obviously has the intention of of winning every time she and her team takes the field. But she also knows that rebuilding is a process that begins with small steps.
“We talked a lot about how this year we’re looking to compete more,” said Rajski. “Last year we lost a lot of games by quite a bit of runs. So this year our goal is just to compete. Not necessarily just win every single game, it’s to compete. To have those 3-2 games. Those close games where we just fight back and forth and just become a competitive team.”
With nine returnees, the Ladyjacks know full well what is expected of them. And the effort it’s going to take to get North Tonawanda back on top of the Niagara Frontier League.
“A big thing is, this year, we have some holes to fill and some of our older players are hoping into those positions and they are willing to play somewhere else,” said Rajski. “Like Lyssa (Carlson) for example, she’s learning how to play first base. She’s been very open to it and excited about it. Which helps me as a coach that I don’t have to force someone to do it.”