The 2019-2020 campaign was anything but pretty for the Winfield girls basketball program.
The Warriors go into the upcoming season with a clean slate - and a new coach. Austin Godfrey moves over from serving as an assistant with the boys team, and said the program will be rebuilt step by step.
“My first hope is that our girls continue to grow as basketball players and members of our school community throughout the course of the year,” said Godfrey, who takes over a Winfield squad that finished 3-20 last season with a loss to Hermann in the Class 3 District 8 Tournament. “We are taking this season one day at a time.
“We have had some adversity to start the year, but every day our goal is to get better regardless of what is going on around us.”
Godfrey isn’t completely new to his team, for several of his players have been his students.
“This is my first-year coaching these girls. I have been an assistant with the boy’s program here for the last three years,” he said. “Having been in the school prior to taking the job, it gave me a chance to get to know some of the girls. That has really helped with the transition, in my opinion.
“Many of these girls have already had me in class and know who I am as a person.”
Winfield expects to lean on its upperclassmen for leadership on and off the court.
“We have three seniors returning this year: Josie Bauer, Chloe Kaimann and Rylee Bosley,” Godfrey said. “My main expectation for them is that they help me set the standard for the rest of the team. They need to be our hardest workers in the gym day in and day out, and be that positive voice that encourages their teammates, but also holds them accountable.
“In the early days of practice, I am happy to report that I have been seeing that.”
Experience is one thing the Warriors have in droves, and that’s something Godfrey hopes can translate into wins this season.
“Our team has quite a bit of returning experience. We lost one senior named Emma Burkemper from last year’s team,” he said. “We have quite a few girls between the junior, sophomore and freshmen classes that are battling to be in that varsity rotation. It’s been a lot of fun to watch these girls compete in practice every day.
I know many of them are itching to get out on the court and show what they can do.”
Though the environment might be a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Godfrey expects his team to compete in every contest.
“My expectations for this year’s team is to give me their full effort and attention on a daily basis,” he said. “During the summer, I told the girls that our goal every day is to get one percent better.
“If we keep that daily growth mindset, we will start to see the results we want on the scoreboard.”