Another former Logger joins the coaching ranks at Knappa High School.
With Paul Isom already in charge of Knappa boys basketball, Tracie (Nygaard) Brockey takes over the Knappa girls basketball program, as she tries to continue the rebuilding job started by Marie Green.
It's been a rocky road for the Lady Loggers over the last six years.
Knappa has an overall record of 9-39 the last two seasons, and the Loggers haven't had a winning record in league play since 2012-13 in the rough and rugged Northwest League.
A former Logger baller herself, Brockey is hoping to reverse the Knappa fortunes.
Brockey played for Mike Jacobson when she was at Knappa, and Brockey will do it the Jacobson way as coach, with a pressuring defense.
“We've got the horses to play an up-tempo game,” Brockey said. “We'll go with a fast-paced, high-pressure defense. Knappa basketball.”
It may take a week or two to get things sorted out, but with a healthy turnout, Brockey should have the Loggers winning in no time.
“We’re looking for a successful season, not just in improving our winning percentage, but in skill development, staying healthy, coming together as a team and putting in the hard work,” she said.
Any rebuilding project is tough when you're battling private schools, as Brockey and the Loggers know all too well.
Portland Christian, City Christian (now Mannahouse Christian) and Faith Bible took up three of the top four spots in the Northwest League last season, while second-place Vernonia was the only team to advance to the state tournament, finishing sixth.
“I expect good things from Portland Christian, and Vernonia was at or near the top of the league last year, and they've got some good players returning,” Brockey said.
“I always believe that any game on any given night is winnable. I think our league in many ways is up for grabs for the teams that are willing to put the work in, and we are hopefully laying the groundwork to be one of those teams.”
Experience will be a plus for the Loggers, for one of the few times over the last decade.
Brockey has five returning seniors, including Sophia Carlson, Aiko Miller and Madelynn Weaver, Knappa's three all-league players from 2018-19.
In addition to the big three, the Loggers return more experience with seniors Katie Denny (playing for the first time since 2017-18) and Bayle McCall, and juniors Raven Corcoran, Megan Hellberg, Vicki Ramvick and Olivia Rilatos.
Sophomore Hannah Dietrichs gained varsity experience last year as a freshman, and freshman Katelynn Weaver could contribute this season.
“Megan Hellberg is ready to step up and contribute,” Brockey said, and “Hannah Dietrichs is an athletic sophomore who runs the floor well.”
She added, “I am pleased with our numbers (20) and am impressed by our seven incoming freshmen this season. Taryn Barendse, Emily Larsen and Katelynn Weaver all participated in summer programming, as did sophomores Ella Jones and Abigail VanGundy.
“This is the commitment we need for players looking to make the jump to varsity, and there are several players who are capable of taking on some varsity minutes,” Brockey said. “It all depends on who puts the time and effort in.”