Warriors unify under new coach
freshman, sophomore and junior|Tribune file|.
With eight four-year varsity players and an influx of young players into the program, new Whittell girls’ soccer coach Jane Gadbois wasted no time bringing her team together.
A barbecue, alumni game and a sprucing up of the “W” at the school field are part of Gadbois’ plan to unify the Warriors before they even play their first game.
“We have a lot of team things other than soccer that we’re trying to keep them together, not only as a soccer team but mentally as a group of people who play together,” Gadbois said.
The players are enjoying Gadbois’ unique ways of bringing the team closer.
“She’s really into unity and really into all of the girls trusting each other because with girls you can have a lot of bickering at times and she’s really up for the whole team aspect of it,” said senior midfielder Jenna Hayes.
Gadbois assisted Mike Leeper — who resigned — the past two seasons and has made a comfortable transition to head coach.
“She really understands the girls and she really understands how to get us motivated,” Hayes said.
Enhancing Gadbois’ team unity plan is the fact that Hayes and seven other seniors have grown up playing soccer together.
“We’ve been together most of our lives,” said senior goalie Elise Thomas. “Every senior has a strong point and it’s awesome to have seven seniors with me.”
The diversity of leadership has provoked Gadbois to agree to a new system for selecting team captains.
“The eight seniors decided that the eight of them will collectively work as hard as they can and then as a coach or as a team we will decide each game what senior worked the hardest and was the best leader that week and she will be the captain that week,” Gadbois said.
Thomas has been a force between the posts throughout her high school career. She has earned first-team all-league honors all three seasons but isn’t satisfied with her abilities.
“I’ve been pushing myself real hard this year, trying to be better,” she said.
She’s working on catching the ball underneath instead of cross-handed to further reduce any chance of making a mistake.
Senior Brooke Schussel will join Hayes at midfield, Sara Piccola and Nichole Adams will anchor the defense, Haley Shaw will play outside halfback and Jeanette Bak and Alison Dunleavy will be counted on to score from their forward positions.
Juniors Ariana Rodriguez and Kaitie Green will also figure prominently in the offense, while sophomores Casey Brumbaugh and Holly O’Brien will provide defensive and midfield work, respectively.
Whittell fell short of making the state tournament last year, but the senior-oriented Warriors are confident they have the potential to play deep into November.
“We’ve won state, we’ve tied North Tahoe and we’ve defeated Incline several times, so we know we’re capable of doing a lot,” Hayes said. “Coming into the season we’re hoping to do really well, especially in zone, and who knows, maybe even make it to state.”
Whittell opens its season against Dayton on Sept. 3 in Zephyr Cove.
2003 WHS Schedule
Date Foe/Site Time
Sept. 3 DAYTON 5 p.m.
Sept. 8 At Damonte Ranch 5 p.m.
Sept. 11 QUINCY 5 p.m.
Sept. 12/13 At Lowry TBA
Sept. 16 At Dayton 5 p.m.
Sept. 18 At Manogue TBA
Sept. 20 SPARKS Noon
Sept. 23 TRUCKEE 5 p.m.
Sept. 25 At North Tahoe TBA
Sept. 27 LOVELOCK 11:30 a.m.
Sept. 30 At Incline 5 p.m.
Oct. 4 YERINGTON * 11:30 a.m.
Oct. 7 NORTH TAHOE 4 p.m.
Oct. 9 At Truckee 4 p.m.
Oct. 14 At Sparks 4 p.m.
Oct. 18 At Lovelock Noon
Oct. 21 At Quincy 5 p.m.
Oct. 23 MANOGUE 4 p.m.
Ovt. 30 INCLINE 4 p.m.
Note: Home games are in ALL CAPS.