First-year OPRF High School head coach Bob Biggins is ready to usher in a new era of girls basketball.
Biggins has been involved in the OPRF program for the last nine years, beginning his tenure as the freshman girls coach in 1996. Now that he has reached the varsity level, Biggins wants to continue the fine tradition of OPRF basketball.
"I guess it was natural once Adrienne Newell stepped down that I would coach the varsity," he said. "I really think we have some good athletes and we have a chance to make waves in the conference. Of course, any coach will tell you that their ultimate goal is to get down state. But, I really think these girls are capable of that."
Indeed, Biggins might just have the lineup to reach that goal. Leading the way for the Huskies during the summer workouts is senior Nneka Nwani. The physical and athletic Nwani is a force under the basket and a quality off-season from her is integral to the Huskies' success. Meanwhile, senior point guard Claire O'Conner will be running the show for Biggins. The Huskies, who have been honing their skills this summer in high-profile tournaments like last weekend's Minuteman Classic, also feature two talented junior forwards in Kendal Dirkin and Olivia Wilks. Michelle Carter, who transferred from cross-town rival Fenwick, will also play forward for OPRF. Sophomore Sara Shannon, who measures 6-foot, will most likely play center for the Huskies. Despite making a jump to varsity from the freshman squad, Biggins believes Shannon will make an immediate impact.
Junior sharpshooter Caley Hague also returns to the lineup and Biggins needs her to pick up where she left off last season.
"We made it to the sectional championship last year and I definitely think we are capable of surpassing that goal this year," he said. "I do think we will be solid?#34;we have some decent size and defensively we should be okay. I think we have a very athletic and talented bunch of players and if we learn to play together, we will be very tough [in the coming] season."
With so much talent at OPRF, most coaches would love to have Biggins' dilemma: Too much talent and not enough space.
"We really have a lot of girls coming back from last season and it is going to be very difficult to figure out how to break the team down," he said. "I guess that is the cost of being successful, but I have to say I am lucky to have that problem."