CRYSTAL FALLS - Forest Park's Lady Trojans, fresh off a season-opening win against North Central, host Bark River-Harris Friday night in an early-season rematch of last year's regional final matchup.
The Lady Trojans were state semifinalists last season, posting a 21-6 record and going 10-2 in the Skyline Conference.
Part of the plan for Forest Park this season, as the group attempts a return to state play, is to become more aggressive on defense and try to up the tempo on offense.
"We are a very young team this year with only two seniors but have a group of girls who have who have strong work ethic and get along very well," head coach Jeff Syrjanen said. "We feel that our team will continue to improve as the season progresses and our young players adapt to our system.
"Having Lexi Gussert, our second year all-stater, back will help tremendously to develop our younger players."
Gussert, an All-U.P. Dream Team selection last year, opened the season Tuesday with 20 points. She is the Lady Trojans' only returning starter, as Forest Park lost Audrey Sholander, Tanner Bartczak, Kaitlin Shamion and Ana Cornelia to graduation.
"We only have one returning starter, but I doubt any coach in the U.P. feels sorry for me," Syrjanen joked.
Syrjanen believes the Skyline Conference will be very strong this season.
"We feel we will be in the mix of the top teams this year," he added.
Jackie Giuliani returns to assist Syrjanen and coach the jayvee squad.
"She has been a tremendous help to our program for the past eight years," Syrjanen said. "She has been a very successful JV coach and is one of the strenths of our success."
Varsity roster follows:
SENIORS - Ronnie Jaeger, Gina Graff.
JUNIORS - Jessica Bawyn, Kendra Campbell, Lexi Gussert, Mary Grandahl, Kaitlyn Bradley,
SOPHOMORES - Adel Isaacson, Kelsi Hendrickson, Sierra Robarge.
FRESHMAN - Maria Stankewicz.