SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Spotswood High School head girls varsity basketball coach Vin Vizzi and his team are loving the fact they get to step on the court for the upcoming coronavirus pandemic shortened season. With the uncertainty hanging over indoor sports, many wondering if high school winter athletes would get the opportunity. They will.
"The Spotswood girls basketball program is making sure they never take a single day for granted," Vizzi said. "Every day we appreciate our time together competing, developing, and making memories."
Vizzi has been a part of the Chargers' girls basketball program for a decade. He spent seven years as an assistant before taking over the head coaching duties. The upcoming 2021 season will be his third as a head coach.
The Chargers lost Jessica Addesso and Maddie Hellerich to graduation in June. Addesso led the team in scoring her senior year with 244 points including 51 three pointers. Spotswood has a strong core remaining with players boasting varsity experience. Their senior captain, Julia Masucci made the team as a freshman four years ago.
"Julia Masucci is a lead by example kind of person," Vizzi said. "She is one of the hardest working athletes you will ever meet and with her leadership, our team should be closer than ever."
Masucci is joined by juniors guards Giana Oelkers, Kirti Craig, Gianna Perez, Lauren Guyette and junior forward Allison Clarke as well as sophomore guards Ava Hellerich and Meaghan Bicsko on the Chargers varsity. Clarke averages nine points per game while Craig averages five. Masucci averages 5.8 pointer per game.
Joining the varsity this season is a group of promising players. Sophomore forward Cynthia Rucinski and sophomore guard Kayla Sabo will be on the court with the varsity along with junior forwards Vada Leaver and Cailin Lennan. Quite a few of the Chargers girls varsity basketball program are also a prominent part of the Spotswood High School girls varsity soccer program.
The Chargers are looking to make an impact in the Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division and be competitive.
"In order to be successful this season, we will need to turn defense into offense,"Vizzi said. "We will focus our attention to the defensive side of the ball, making our opponents earn every basket."
Spotswood has a scrimmage on Saturday at noon against North Brunswick High School in the Spotswood High School Gymnasium before opening the season on the road at South River High School on Wednesday, January 27. Tip off is at 5 p.m. against the Rams. Spotswood's home opener is on Friday, January 29 at 6 p.m. against Middlesex High School. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, fans will not be in attendance at basketball games this season. The Spotswood Athletic Department is making arrangements to have all Chargers and Memorial Middle School Colts basketball games live-streamed for parents and fans.