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ALONSO RAVENS

COACH: Kelly Joyner

LAST YEAR: 0-20

RETURNING: Melissa Anderson and Jessica James, sophomores, and Erika Maita and Layza Rivera, juniors.

OUTLOOK: Although the Ravens took some whippings in their inaugural season, they are hungry for some pay back this year. The team is still building and will have four freshmen on the varsity, but the returning players went to camps and trained together all summer and won't be pushovers this year. Should be tough by districts.

COACH SAYS: "I believe we will compete this year. These girls played and never gave up last year and want to win this season. We have speed on the perimeter and they are all working hard. I really expect at least a .500 season this year."

FREEDOM PATRIOTS

COACH: Erin Campbell

LAST YEAR: First season

OUTLOOK: Junior Shannon Roque, junior and sophomores Raquel Cross and Brandie Davis could help build the new program for Campbell. The Patriots will begin their history with a hard-pressing team, hoping to wear down opponents. They are small but fast and aggressive.

COACH SAYS: "We will take our lumps early with athletes working to play together and face older, more mature teams. We won't worry about our record this year. When we get to districts, we face three teams: Tampa Catholic, Osceola and Robinson. I am going in thinking we have a chance to be one of the final two."

GAITHER COWBOYS

COACH: Bill Agatheas

LAST YEAR: 18-10

RETURNING: Tracey Campbell, Tosha Ross, Whitney Harper, Whitney Boone, seniors, and Jordan Stone, a junior.

OUTLOOK: Gaither has height with three players 6 feet 3, so the inside game could be effective. The Cowboys should be a threat to any team they play this season.

COACH SAYS: "We hope to be in contention for the district title this season. None of our seniors have been in the playoffs and some of them are in their fourth season playing for us."

JEFFERSON DRAGONS

COACH: Jim Dempsey

LAST YEAR: 13-10

RETURNING: Nikita Williams and Ashley Armour, juniors, Terocony Ingram, a sophomore, and Jamisha Jefferson, a senior.

OUTLOOK: Last year Jim Dempsey turned the Dragons girls program around, producing the first winning season since 1978. He did that with only 14 players to divide between varsity and junior varsity teams. This year he has high hopes for the 48 girls out for the two teams. They are small but fast and should improve on last year's record.

COACH SAYS: "Because we are so small, our offense will have to be our quick, aggressive defense. We will actually play five guards. These kids have been is such a long drought, they forgot how to win. That is changing and they will be in the fight."

LETO FALCONS

COACH: Todd Price

LAST YEAR: 12-15

RETURNING: Amber Eihardt and Delidah Smith, seniors, Yarenis Blanco, Sandy Stout and Sheena Kee, juniors, and Shevonne Battle, Holly Manninen and Stephanie Mendez, sophomores.

OUTLOOK: Leto will put a fast, hard-pressing team on the court with plenty of experience. The Falcons should be competitive from the get go, building on last year's record, and end up tough in postseason.

COACH SAYS: "I feel this is the best team I have had. They are small, but quick and good with the press. If everybody plays up to their potential, we should improve last year's record and even make it into the playoffs."

SICKLES GRYPHONS

COACH: Mark Key

LAST YEAR: 4-16

RETURNING: Heather Fortner, senior, and Katie Biernacki, sophomore.

OUTLOOK: The Gryphons are rebuilding with quick, young players. Until the new and returning players blend and become cohesive, Sickles will probably take some lumps. But it probably won't last.

COACH SAYS: "I am excited about the possibilities of this team. We have no seniors, so we have two years to develop, but I don't think it will take that long. I think they will come together by the time we get to the playoffs."

WHARTON WILDCATS

COACH: Eddie Henderson

LAST YEAR: 22-5 district champs

RETURNING: Whitney Burton, Derika Folks, Beth Joseph, seniors, and Jordan Gaines and Anne Vogler, juniors.

OUTLOOK: Even with new faces filling the varsity roster, the Wildcats still have experienced players to make a run for the playoffs. Wharton will be fast with a strong defense. If the offense catches up by January, the Wildcats should be in the thick of the postseason battle.

COACH SAYS: "We will miss Candace (Dupree), but we have some good players moving up from JV and we just might surprise some people. This is my last season, because I am going back to earn my master's degree. I believe our girls will compete this season."

Note: Chamberlain High School coach Steve Heverly did not provide information about this year's Chiefs squad.

_ TERRY JONES

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