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Girls basketball: Simmons leads Forest Park

CRYSTAL FALLS — Depth and limited experience will be two factors that face the Forest Park girls basketball team this upcoming season.

First-year head coach Kim Bjork has only seven girls on the roster, and four of them are playing at the varsity level for the first time.

“We have three returning players from last season,” Bjork said.

The returners are seniors Mercedes Simmons, Sydney Honkala and Caitlyn Bloomburg. Simmons who recently signed her National Letter of Intent to play at Division II Purdue-Northwest, was All-UP first team selection last season.

“The seven girls we have are working hard every practice, and I feel we have potential to be a solid team,” Bjork said. “We are focusing on improving our defensive skills and trying to be more aggressive offensively. Every girl on our team is capable of scoring and we hope we can bring that out in them.”

Bjork, like other Skyline Central Conference coaches, feels that there will be tough competition in league play this season.

“We are excited for the season, with a goal to improve every week,” she said. “By the end of the regular season, we hope to be at the top of our game.”

Mia Arcand, who was an assistant with the program last year, was hired as JV coach. She assisted Bjork with the JV team and former varsity head Jackie Giuliani, who stepped down as varsity coach to take a job within the school’s administration. Bjork feels Arcand has a good feel for what the program coaches have done in the past and that she’ll bring in some new ideas as well.

The Trojans begin the season on Tuesday when they travel to conference foe North Central, before traveling to Bark River-Harris on Friday, Dec. 6. FP’s home opener is versus Carney-Nadeau on Tuesday, Dec. 10, which gives the Trojans three Skyline Conference games to start the season.

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