Fenwick girls basketball coach Dave Power will retire from the bench next year after a career boasting more than 900 wins, three state titles and induction into three halls of fame. | FILE

With longtime head coach Dave Power announcing he’ll retire at the end of the 2021-22 season, the Fenwick High School girls’ basketball team would like to send him off in style.

“Our goal is to go to go downstate and make a statement,” said Fenwick senior guard Mira Schwanke.

The Friars, who went 6-7 in the pandemic-abbreviated 2021 season, return five players who saw significant playing time, including Schwanke, senior guard Mia Caccitolo, senior forwards Amanda Hansen (Adelphi signee) and Elise Heneghan and junior forward Cam Brusca. Senior forward Audrey Hinrichs returns after missing last season due to injury.

“If we’re healthy, we’re going to be a tough team to beat,” said Power.

Other players to keep an eye on include seniors Lorrittza Richard and Jody Watson; juniors Bella Daley, who just concluded an all-state in cross-country season, Raina Ford, and Allie Heyer; and sophomore Grace Kopech.

Fenwick has a rigorous schedule between competing in the tough Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Red Division and making appearances in the New Trier Thanksgiving and Dundee-Crown holiday tournaments, which both feature plenty of Illinois’ top programs.

Power — three wins away from 1,000 in his career – said he wants the focus to be on the season, especially his senior players, instead of his impending retirement.

“I’ve been with some of these girls for a long time, and this is our last go-round together,” he said. “They’ve had great success in the state tournament, reaching the sectional final twice and making it to the Elite Eight once. … I’m excited to see what we can do now that we’re at the finish line. I wouldn’t trade them for anyone in the world.”

The seniors have enjoyed playing for Power, and Hinrichs continues to learn from him every day.

“He’s a crazy dude, but he knows his stuff,” Hinrichs said with a laugh. “It’s been great. He’s such an amazing coach.”

Fenwick opens its season Nov. 17 at home versus Phillips as part of the New Trier Thanksgiving Tournament. Power’s 1000th win could potentially happen Nov. 19 against Taft.

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