Coward returns to the sideline


Coach Coward gets frustrated on the sideline.

Rohun Voruganti, Sports Editor

After being denied a season of basketball last year, girl’s basketball coach Russell Coward is excited and determined to compete this winter. This is his 14th season at Westford Academy with DCL titles and over 100 wins under his belt, and this season he will look to add to his resume.

Because basketball did not have the opportunity to play in the 2020-2021 season, Coward has more work to do than usual. His players lost time to develop and underclassmen will have to work harder than normal to stand out.

“I’m approaching this season with the same high-level expectations we always have […] contend for a league title, make the tournament, and try to win as many tournament games as possible. I’m also scheduling a lot more scrimmages than normal to try to make up for the lack of game experience caused by last year’s canceled season,” he said.

With so many returning seniors from last year, the Ghosts should be a team the DCL needs to watch out for. Four seniors have been chosen to command this year’s team.

“Carly Davey, Abby Chambers, Tamar Almasian, and Kayley Carignan have all shown a combination of stellar dedication, leadership, and talent,” he said.

Davey will be the only returning starter as she lead the team as a sophomore. Even with her commitment to Bowdoin she wants to prove to everyone that she can still ball. Chambers has the chance to solidify herself as a wing scorer and step into the spotlight. Carignan and Almasian will be coming off fresh injuries by the time the season starts.

The former JV players and freshmen could be something to watch out for too. Many underclassmen lost a freshman or sophomore year to shine so they might have a breakout year ahead of them.

“The obvious answer is Alanna Saunders. She got significant varsity time as a freshman and I’m hoping she continues her strong play from then. As far as varsity contributors… I’m looking at everyone,” Coward said. “Ali Mammola, Aria Chambers, Mia Clark, and Alex Jones all played a lot of JV minutes and I’m hoping they are ready to take the next step. I have some potentially good players who are sophomores and freshmen but I’ve never seen them play in a real high school game.”

The answer to why Coward decided to begin coaching was simple, he loved the game of basketball. He knows the game and has been around it longer than most students have been alive, and his history at the school proves that.

“I played a lot of basketball, and as a teacher, I wanted to be more involved with my school. It was a natural choice and one of the better ones I have made in my life,” Coward said.