by Ken Brown
MARSHFIELD – Former Twinfield-Cabot multisport standout, Jack Whalen, takes over a Lady Trojan basketball program this winter that will look to stay healthy after the injury bug decimated their starting rotation last season.
Whalen, a 2018 Twinfield-Cabot graduate, replaces David Conover after a five-win season that ended with a first round loss to Arlington in the Division IV playoffs. The Lady Trojans ended last season with 13 straight losses after suffering season ending injuries to four players in their starting rotation. Whalen got a firsthand look of the adversity the program went through last season as an assistant coach and is excited for the opportunity to lead the program with what he describes as a very resilient group of athletes.
“This opportunity is new and exciting. Last season was tough, having to play out the year with a majority of our offensive production lost to injuries. This is a resilient team and group of girls who not only had to battle through last season with younger players, but most of them have had a different coach every year since they were freshman. This program needs consistency and that starts with me as a coach. I want to be here for a while and help build this program from the ground up. I have a strong connection to this community and I want to reconnect this program and these players to it all the way down to the youth level. I want to create a varsity program here at Twinfield-Cabot that the kids in this community can look up to and that starts with us as coaches and players getting involved with youth practices, games, coaching, and officiating,” said Whalen.
Whalen lost Ginger Klarich, Maddie Duke, Aleacya Moshinskie, Aiden Corbett, and Julie Williams to graduation, but returns a talented core led by lone senior captain Alice McLane. Jorja Washburn joins McLane as a returning starter after leading the team in scoring before going down with a season-ending injury. The Lady Trojans also return experience in Kendall Fowler, Carly Mancini, and Haylee North. Whalen had an encouraging 13 girls come out for the team this winter and hopes to have a junior varsity program as early as next season.
“First and foremost, we want to stay healthy. If we can do that, we can improve on a lot from last season. Alice gives us good size and great senior leadership and Jorja leads with her work ethic and play. Carly and Kendall have been great in leading our younger players in drills and practices and Haylee brings great positive energy that is infectious throughout practice. We have some talented young players on this team and we are going to need them this season to keep everyone healthy. Our veterans have done a great job making them feel a big part of this team and that is great to see. We all want to win games this season, but we also want to keep everyone healthy and continue to build this program for future success. This is an amazing community and it was inspiring to see neighbors pull together and help one another this past summer during the floods. Our players are going to get out there and connect with this community and we want to create a culture where the community in turn wants to come out and support the play we put out there on the basketball court. We’re excited to get started,” said Whalen.
The Lady Trojans will finish up their preseason with scrimmages against Lyndon Institute and Northfield on Wednesday and Friday before tipping off the official season at home against Peoples Academy next Tuesday.