Winfield, Mo. – Winfield girls basketball coach Austin Godfrey has always stressed improvement with his program.
The 2021-2022 season saw his Warriors finish with their largest win total in five years – and Godfrey hopes his team can build on that performance.
“Last year’s team made it to a double-digit win total, which is the first time since 2016,” said Godfrey, whose Warriors finished 10-16 last season. “With the increased level of success, I still feel like we left some wins out there. We need to become a more consistent team on the offensive end. At times we would really struggle to put together quality possessions.
“We have been diligently working on raising our offensive awareness. We’re looking for girls to step up and knock down shots this winter.”
Winfield will be fielding one of the most experienced rosters in the Gateway Athletic Conference’s North Division, and Godfrey hopes that also translates into an increased number of wins.
“We have four out of five returning starters. Renzlee Davidson is a junior guard who led us in scoring last year at 13 points per game,” Godfrey said. “She will be joined by four seniors who have starting experience.”
One of those seniors is point guard Kade Berry, who led the Warriors in assists last year.
(Berry) will be playing her fourth year of varsity basketball. She has been the starting point guard for the past two seasons,” Godfrey said. “Elena Parr is a senior forward who can play and defend all positions on the floor. She is one of our toughest players both mentally and physically.
“Lily Boschert is a senior guard who started some games last year. She has the knack for always getting her hands on the ball on the defensive end and stepping up to take timely charges. Kailey Gillespie was our leading rebounder last season, and can provide some timely buckets.”
Winfield will need this experience, especially through the tough GAC schedule.
“This will be the first year that I can really rely on some of my more experienced players to help us get through the toughest moments of our season. These girls have been with me for going on three years now and we’re all well aware of the challenges that lie ahead,” Godfrey said. “I also feel that we have added to our post depth and general toughness on this years team. This should help us battle against some of the traditionally bigger teams in our division. The GAC North will be a conference in transition this year. We have four new coaches out of the six teams in the Northern Division, one of them being Hall of Famer Terry Hollander, who is taking over the St. Charles West girls program.
“We are looking forward to conference play to test ourselves against our sisters in the GAC North.”
Overall, Godfrey sees his team turning the corner and improving on its win total in the upcoming season.
“I am optimistic about this upcoming season,” he said. “Our roster consists of a nice mix of upperclassmen with a talented freshmen class thrown in. We will have our ups and downs like any team, but I would like to see our team get over the hump and have our first winning season in almost a decade. We’re looking to compete in both conference play and the tournaments that we are a part of. I want the girls to know what it feels like to play with some hardware on the line.
“At the end of the day, I hope that we might just earn a little more respect each day as people watch the continued growth of this program. The girls are working hard on a daily basis, and I’m excited to see where the season leads.”