Fenwick's Darryelle Smith (left) defends against teammate Kiera Kapsch in a scrimmage during the Friars' "Midnight Madness" event Nov. 9. | Carol Dunning

The Fenwick girls basketball team might have a younger squad, but they seem ready to make some noise.

The Friars (19-16 last season) will have seven players returning to varsity, including two returning starters in senior point-guard Grace Kapsch and junior forward Kiera Kapsch. 

“We look forward to both [Grace and Kiera] continuing the big impact they had for us last season,” said Friars head coach Lenae Fergerson, “along with the help of several sophomores who played JV last season. I am pleased with how our practices are going with everyone stepping up to the challenge of being better each day.”

The Friars will also return senior guard Lily O’Neil, senior post Tea Pasquesi, junior point guard Diamond Young, and junior point guard Mia Hernandez; and they will bring in 5-10 sophomore shooting guard Cammie Molis, 5-7 guard Heaven Lee, and 5-10 post/forward Zoe Dray, who were key for the JV team last season. Sophomore guard Darryelle Smith (5-9) will also join the team this year as a transfer. 

“I am confident that there are trusted leaders on the team and that we will truly come together as a team, almost like a family,” Grace Kapsch said. “I know that through all of the ups and downs, the team will be there to support one another.”

In addition to the always competitive conference play in the Chicago Catholic League, the highlights for the Friars this year will also be the New Trier Thanksgiving Tournament and the Dundee Crown Christmas Tournament. 

“If we can beat the teams we are supposed to beat and are able to come together and win a few upsets, it will be a very successful season,” Grace said. “With only three seniors, and the rest of the team comprised of juniors and sophomores, a lot of maturing will take place. For this to happen and the Friars to be successful, we truly have to come together and support one another.”

Kapsch takes pride in being a leader on this Friars team and hopes to have an impact on the younger roster.

“I only know one speed, and that is 100% all the time,” she said. If I see an opportunity to teach something I know to the team, whether it be my younger sisters or the underclassmen, I will not hesitate. I consider myself as someone with tremendous energy and continuous knowledge on the court.”

As far as goals for the team, “I would truly like to see the team be a contender for the conference title, and definitely reach the playoffs,” Kapsch said. “If we all can grow as players and teammates, it will be a tremendous team success.”

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