Mike Woollard apparently likes a challenge and he certainly is facing one as the new head coach of the Red Deer College Queens basketball team this year.
He is taking over a team which won just four games last season and has essentially three returning players from that squad.
“I really look forward to going from where we are to where we want to be,” said Woollard who takes over after two years at Quest College in B.C. “I’ve got a good group of solid citizens and character individuals who are working hard and if we work hard and keep doing that every day we’ll get a lot better.”
Woollard says team goals and expectations have not been set in stone at this point but he has discussed some goals which are lofty but attainable.
“What this year is about is getting better every single day and competing every single night and by doing that we’ll have some fun as well but it’s about laying the ground work for where we’re going.”
One of the building blocks for this program will be second year player Sarah Williamson who along with Morgan Schultz and Paveena Nijjar lead the way on a team flush with rookies.
“Last year I think I was more nervous and this year I think I have to lead and be a role model for the first-year players,” said Williamson.
The Queens will get some imported experience with Amrei Bondlio, a forward who trained with a first division team in Munich, Germany.
Williamson says this is a different looking team compared to last year and she feels they have some very good shooters to put on the floor in order to compete with all those other good shooting teams in the ACAC.
“We have some quality shooters on this team which we will definitely use to our advantage.”
Last year Williamson saw about 10 minutes a game on the court but the coach figures that total will climb this season as he moves her around to different positions and she’s preparing for the challenge.
“I want to work on my rebounding and shooting. There are some things from last year that I want to improve on for the season and bring more to this team.”
Woollard is very realistic about what he will get from this group this season but it’s further down the road where he is convinced he’ll see some solid results.
“I’m looking at three or four years but once it’s built, keeping it built is the next challenge.”