HOWELL — It’s been eight months since last season ended, and players have had most of the fall to prepare, but there were glitches as girls basketball tryouts began on Monday.
Most involved paperwork in the form of missing physicals, which brought a slow shake of the head from Howell coach Tim Olszewski.
But, as is his nature, a few seconds later Olszewski was his upbeat self.
“We get to see who’s coming out and who’s been working in the offseason, all those things rolled up into one,” he said.
His team is coming off a trip to the regionals last year, where it missed a spot in the regional final thanks to a buzzer-beater that ended their season.
But that was last year.
“My wife was talking to me last night, and she asked me, ‘Do you think you’re as good as last year?'” Olszewski said. “And I said, ‘We don’t have the dominant post player (Erin Honkala) like we did last year, but the other girls have matured and have another year of being here, so, overall, we’re equally good but in different ways.”
Later in the day, Brighton coach Paul Ash talked about his goals for tryouts, which will go on through Thursday.
“We have a lot of freshmen we’re looking at this year,” he said. “It’s one of the better freshmen classes we’ve had in a long time.”
The Bulldogs could have three freshmen on the varsity, the most since 2003, when Chelsea Albert, Megan Gonta and Shannon Murphy not only made the team but became starters.
“Right now, I wouldn’t say (the freshmen) would be starters, but we do need depth,” Ash said.
So, after conditioning and skills tests, the scrimmages, and the evaluations, began.
“You’re trying to be fair,” Ash sasid. “You’re trying to give everyone a good look. You never want to cut (players), but the reality is sometimes that does happen. That’s a tough part of the job.”
But the uneasy task ahead didn’t diminish the enthusiasm for either coach.
“It’s an exciting time,” Olszewski said. “It’s the first day and it’s very exciting to see what we have.”
“Mark (Lingo, beginning his 30th year in the program) and I were talking yesterday that we’re fired up and ready to go,” Ash said. “It’s that new year and it’s exciting. Everyone’s got a chance to win the championship now.”