SPOTSWOOD, NJ - After seven seasons as the Spotswood High School girls varsity basketball head coach, Jill Hetzler is turning the reins over to her assistant, Vin Vizzi. Hetzler notched her 100th career coaching victory last season and is stepping down. Vizzi is a physical education teacher at the Memorial Middle School and has spent the last three years as a varsity assistant coach and the coach of the junior varsity squad. The 2018-19 season will be his inaugural one. Vizzi, like Hetzler, is a Spotswood High School alumnus and a former member of the Chargers varsity basketball team.
The Chargers were the Greater Middlesex Conference co-champions last season along with Middlesex High School. Spotswood was 13-1 in division play and had an overall record of 17-9. The Chargers did loose three key contributors to graduation including Erin Malin, Courtney Potter and Sarah Marotta. Malin is continuing her court prowess at the collegiate level, playing at Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Despite the departures, Spotswood still has a varsity lineup full of veteran players with varsity experience. Junior guard Maddie Hellerich will be seeing a lot of playing time this season. Hellerich has also garnered the attention of college recruiters. She will be joined on the court by seniors Savannah Robinson, Paige Dadika, Amber Meagher, Brielle McCoy and Angelia Perez, juniors Jessica Addesso and Megan Devlin as well as sophomore guard Julia Masucci. Robinson, Dadika, Meagher and Addesso have all had significant playing time at the varsity level and Masucci cracked the varsity lineup last year as a freshman. Promising newcomers Jackie Gialanella, Cat Riley, Giana Oelkers and Ally Clarke will be making their varsity debuts this season.
"The Chargers are returning two starters from last season's division championship team, along with talented role players coming in primed to make a bigger impact," Vizzi said on his outlook for the upcoming 2018-19 season. "A boost from a few newcomers could help the Chargers improve upon last year's season."
"Our team brings great chemistry to the court," Vizzi said. "Leadership stands out when I think about this team. We will focus on being aggressive defensively, forcing turnovers and challenging opponents to make difficult shots. Our practices are competitive and intense preparing us for the upcoming season."
"Returning only two starters can be a challenge for us early on," Vizzi continued. "But we are confident in the depth our team has."
Practices started last week for the Chargers and the team will be fine tuning their game play with five scrimmages before opening the season on Friday, December 14 at the Spotswood High School Gymnasium against Highland Park High School. Tip off for the home opener is 6 p.m.