Fans of girls basketball in Vermillion this winter will see a veteran team with a good deal of varsity experience, starting Friday when the Tanagers open the season as part of a girls-boys doubleheader at Harrisburg.
"Our kids love the game of basketball and have dedicated themselves to the sport, not only during the season but, more importantly, during the off-season," said Nick Mayer, who ascends to the head coaching position from an assistant's role. He succeeds Jamie Parish, who left the district to assume an administrative position at Centerville.
"We will be a very good shooting team," Mayer added, "and we will get after teams on the defensive end."
Thirty-two girls in grades 9-12 reported for basketball at Vermillion High this winter.
Mayer has seven girls with varsity experience back for another campaign on the hardwoods, and five of those seven are seniors. Team co-captains are Sierra Allen, Sophie Nehlich-Arobba and Hannah Nehlich-Arobba. Kayla Munger and Sarah Day are also seniors.
Joining them from last year's varsity are junior Morgan Erickson and sophomore Lexi Regnerus.
It will be a full month from now before Mayer and his girls get to play a game on their home court at VHS. The good thing about beginning a season with six consecutive dates on the road is that eventually there will be quite a few home games to offset that travel.
The Tanagers, after Friday's opener at Harrisburg, will have two more December contests – at Madison Dec. 21 and at Tea Area Dec. 29. They continue their journeys with games at the Winner Classic Jan. 2, at Sioux City East Jan. 5 and at Parkston Jan. 8 before finally seeing a home game Jan. 12 with Madison as the opponent.