Stevens girls basketball team set to tip off new season with a new head coach
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Stevens girls basketball team will have a new head coach when the season tips off later this week, but it will be a familiar face for most of the players.
Long time assistant basketball coach at Rapid City at Stevens, Travis Swartz, made the move to head coach this season.
He replaces Michael Brooks who is now the junior varsity coach for the Stevens boys basketball program.
Swartz inherits a team that went 17-7 last year and finished fifth at that State ‘AA’ Basketball Tournament.
Coach Swartz says he doesn’t plan on implementing a lot of new changes this season.
“The last few years, I’ve really liked some of the things that we’ve done defensively and philosophically,” head coach Travis Swartz said. “And I wanted to try to keep status quo as much as I can. Coach Oliver and myself we’ve added our own flavor to some things. But definitely didn’t want to upset the apple cart. We wanted to keep things what we’ve been successful in the past the same and maybe tweak a few things that we thought needed some changing.”
Coach swartz has a solid nucleus back this year, including senior Kyah Watson who averaged 13 points and five rebounds per game last season.
Other key players returning this year include Grace Martin, Bailee Sobczak, Kenadi Rising and Jayda McNabb.
“We return so many kids that were in the varsity gym from last year,” Swartz said. “I think that’s another reason why we didn’t want to come in as a new staff and change everything because we have a core foundation with these kids. We return four starters and I’ve been telling people that eight of our top 10 are back. So that’s really exciting when you think of what the season’s going to bring for us.”
Rapid City Stevens, who’s ranked third in the pre-season polls, opens the girls basketball season on Friday, Dec. 13 at Brandon Valley followed by a game against Yankton on Dec. 14.
The Raiders’ home opener is Friday, Jan. 3 against the Brookings Bobcats.