“We’re practicing. We don’t start playing until next Monday. So far so good, we’ve only got nine girls this year. Numbers are down a little bit, and only two are returning seniors, so we’re very young. They all know each other and work well together. There’s three Grade 10s this year that are a welcome addition to the team.”
At a new competition level this year, Hochstein was hesitant to suggest who the team’s major contenders and rivals might be.
“It’s too early to tell. St. Mary’s had to move up to a 2A school this year, so as far as zone and provincial competition, we’re up at that next level, so that will be something that we have to work towards. We’re now competing with the Emmanual(s) and the Picture Butte(s). That will be a big step for us.”
A plethora of younger players will round out the Aurora’s line up on the season.
“Basically, we’re starting from scratch again. We’re very young — most of the girls had little or no playing experience last year, because they were all in Grade 10. So it’s basically starting and seeing where we go, we’re going to run some schemes, and try some new offences. Basically, you spend four years working towards provincials, and those girls are now moved on and graduated, so you start over trying to create another contender,” said Hochstein.
The team’s first regular season game is on Dec. 9 against Bow Island, with a follow up game on Dec. 11 against Foremost. Both games will be played at St. Mary’s School. The team also has a tournament coming up on the weekend of Dec. 14-15.
“We really haven’t been able to evaluate, at this point in time we’re just starting. You have to play you first game to determine what your strengths and weaknesses are,” said Hochstein.