As always, teams change.
The Westford Academy Grey Ghosts will be no different, but the loss of leadership, experience and skill will be difficult to make up.
Gone are Liz Arnold, Emily Bramanti and Allison Mulhern, all of whom have gone on to play sports at the college level. They helped Westford to a 39-7 record the last two seasons, including an appearance in the Division 1 state semifinal.
Last year, the Grey Ghosts won a piece of the Dual County League crown and advanced for the third consecutive season to the Central Division 1 final, eventually losing to Wachusett, 54-47.
That being said, there the Ghosts will once again be competitive in the Dual County League.
“We lost three starters, but we have some kids ready to step up and help us,” Westford coach Russ Coward said.
Co-captains and senior guards Brooke Pillsbury and Carolyn Graham return, and both will play integral roles.
“Brooke has started the last two-and-a-half seasons and is a DCL All-Star, while Carolyn has played solid minutes off the bench,” Coward said.
Senior forwards Morgan Rose and Tess Keele also return, providing rebounding and interior scoring.
Sophomores Jen Martin and Ellie Nolan are back, and Coward believes both will see a lot of time on the court this season.
“They have both shown solid improvement,” Coward said.
Westford also has veteran leadership with Alexa Shepherd, Abby Katz and Meghan McGee.
“I think we will contend for another DCL title, and though there is some tough competition in the Central sectional, I hope we can at least make it to a neutral site tournament game,” Coward said. “After that, I have no idea what will happen, but we have had an excellent first week of tryouts and practice, and I am really looking forward to the season.”
The Grey Ghosts will open the winter season at Waltham on Dec. 10. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.