Last year's 5-11 league record for the Jewell girls basketball team … was not that bad, considering the competition the Lady Jays had to deal with in their own league.
In the first year without coach Mark Fick leading the Blue Jays, first-year coach Hailee Wawro led Jewell to a 6-16 overall record, with a seven-player roster in a league that included the 1A state champion.
The Casco League includes five private schools — usually tough no matter what league you're in. There's Perrydale, a difficult opponent for Jewell, no matter what sport they're playing; and there's St. Paul, which posted a 30-0 record and won the class 1A state title last season.
It starts with St. Paul.
The Lady Buckaroos stormed through their 2018-19 schedule, opening with a 77-13 win over Scio. They put it in cruise control from there, blitzing through the league schedule with a 16-0 mark, winning by scores such as 72-20, 77-28 and 72-15. And that was in early December.
St. Paul's closest game was a 42-37 win over Joseph in the state quarterfinals, which was followed by a 55-33 victory over Damascus Christian and a 49-32 win over Powder Valley in the state championship.
The other notable fact: St. Paul had just three seniors last season.
The Lady Jays
Jewell wasn't the deepest team in the Casco League last year, with just seven players on the varsity.
Through one week of practice this year, the Jays were holding steady with seven on the roster.
Jewell lost just one senior (Lily Kaczenski), and returns one, Nedi Morales.
Lillie Meier and Ally Phillips return for their junior seasons, and after that the lineup gets young.
Brenna Shaw and Alivia Swearingen return as sophomores, and the varsity roster includes two freshmen, Yvonne Chronister and Gracie Kuhnly.
Wawro's assistants are Gabi Morales and Joel Johnston.