Introducing Varsity Girls Basketball


The beginning of the 2016/17 winter athletic season has marked another coaching change in the basketball program. Most recently, this has been the addition of David Kraft as Varsity Girls’ Basketball Head Coach.

Following her successes at last year’s ISSTs, with ASL clinching a gold medal finish, former Head Coach Jessica Mazzenga has been temporarily relieved of her duties for the squad as she begins her maternity leave. In turn, former Grade Seven Boys Basketball Coach David Kraft has been appointed.

Athletic Director John Farmer has tipped Kraft to continue a successful run for the varsity girls team: “He really knows his basketball. He’s done an amazing job for us coaching seventh grade boys,” he said. “He brings a ton of experience, real know-how as far as how to get a team to play basketball. Both of them [Kraft and Varsity Girls Basketball Assistant Coach Heidi McCune] eat, sleep, and breathe basketball.”

Kraft, who was previously the Women’s Head Coach at Olympic College in Washington, is looking to continue last year’s triumphant season, even though the team lost four seniors and two other key players.  “We are… a lot younger but if we commit to working with one another, I don’t see why we cannot be successful,” he said.

McCune, Kraft’s assistant coach for the upcoming campaign agrees that the loss of seniors will be challenging, but does see the silver linings of having a half of the same squad, mixed in with inexperienced potential. “We did lose four seniors, which is a lot considering an ISST squad is made up of ten. Yes, that is 50 percent of the team gone but it’s also 50 percent of the team back, and 50 percent of a really good team is still very good,” she said.

Kraft believes that dedication to the sport and hard work is needed in order to retain their ISST title, and wants to see this determination from the offset and throughout. “I want to see improvement from day one. We need to come to work hard, trust one another, and believe what we are doing,” he said. “I want to see weekly improvement from the girls.”

Mia Holtze (’18), one of the team’s guards, who is returning for her third year as a pivotal varsity basketball player, believes that Kraft will bring abundance of experience to the table. “So far, I have seen coach Kraft is a very encouraging coach, and [he] knows how to get the best of a young team,” she said. “He is very knowledgable about the game, and is willing to listen to the players.”

McCune echoes Kraft’s sentiments that an ISST victory isn’t the only goal for this season. “We are always looking to be as competitive and as fundamentally sound as we can be throughout the lineup,” she said. “We are really looking to teach these girls how to play basketball and represent the school as well as they possibly can.”