Last season: 1-20, 0-6 GLAC, lost in Class 3A Griffith Sectional to Hammond.
Inside the Pioneers
Leading returning scorer: Dulce Garcia, 4 ppg
Leading returning rebounder: Dulce Garcia, 3 rpg
Star power: Dulce Garcia, Jr., G. She possesses toughness on the court and is a very determined player who will be looked at to score more this season.
Newcomer to watch: Jocelyn Villanueva, Sr., G. She's not a newcomer, but as the only senior on the team this season, she'll definitely be looked upon as a leader.
A new look this season
New head coach Lawrence Chase assumes the reins this season, bringing his experience as a five-year head coach at Hammond to Robertsdale. Chase won a sectional championship in 2008, but he takes over a program that hasn't seen postseason success since the mid-1980s. Still, Chase has recognized the players' effort despite the lack of wins. "Collectively, it's been a little bit of a shock. Coaching against them for so many years, and them not being as successful as one might think, they're truly hard workers collectively." The Pioneers won only one game last season, so they can really only go up from here. The excitement of having a new and very experienced coach has changed the mentality in practice. "He talks, and we listen," junior guard Dulce Garcia said. "He really believes in us." Size-wise, the Pioneers have a frontcourt of Xiajaere Phillips and Giovanna Phillips that could contend with many teams in Northwest Indiana. While the Pioneers should be more competitive this season, Chase is also focusing on improvement off the court. "We like to focus on becoming better individuals, becoming better students and then better basketball players," he said. "I figure if you can change a person's mindset and help them succeed at becoming a better person, it will translate to other parts of their lives."
-- Matt Douthett