Winter coaches love an early Thanksgiving because it means that they'll have a little extra time to fine tune their lineups and implement their plans. When Turkey Day falls late in the calendar, like it did this year, then that prep time takes a big hit.
With the start of the seasons barreling down on the Clippers coaches, they have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. Here are some of the key variables to keep an eye on as the seasons are about to start.
FHS Boys Basketball – Coach Paul Lundberg is known for getting the most out of his troops every year. This season will be a challenge for the veteran bench master for the Clippers.
With graduation and transfers leaving the Clippers without much varsity experience, Lundberg has a lot of work to do to get his team ready for action. With defense being a key for every team that he coaches, you can count on Lundberg's crew working hard. The big question facing the team will be who does the scoring, and which player or players will step up to lead the squad this season.
FHS Girls Basketball – At the end of last year's tournament run, Coach Bob Buscher and his girls' team likened the completion of the season as “halftime.” They have a mission of making a deep run in the tournament.
With Skylar Gonsalves transferring out of FHS, and Olivia Peterson unable to play her senior season due to injury, team rebounding will be something to watch with the Clippers. All five players on the court are going to have to be prepared to crash the boards. How Buscher and company defend inside and clean up those rebounds will be a big factor for 2019-20 and their bid to accomplish the mission they've set out for themselves.
FHS Boys' Ice Hockey – With two-year goalie Kevin Duarte and a number of key defensemen graduating, the onus on the Clippers will be on the back end. There's confidence around the rink that the Clippers should be able to produce offensively at a good clip, but limiting the other team will make or break FHS this year. Coach Paul Moore's team is hoping one of the goalies will step up and take the job as his own, and that the defense will jell quickly. Senior co-captain Jack Hamilton and sophomore Kyle Souza are the only returning blue liners that saw significant playing time last year on the back end, and Tommy Peterson and Jonah Schlezinger played varsity minutes as well. North Wilson is the only goalie on the roster that has seen any varsity time.
FHS Girls' Ice Hockey – There's no question that the FHS girls' ice hockey team should be pretty good, but the young group is still on the rise and has not reached its full potential yet. It probably won't this year either, simply because the team is so young and has so much room to grow. Coach Brian Ferreira's team will be looking for consistency throughout the season. With the core of the returning goal-scoring belonging the sophomore and freshman ranks, the team is still very young and only scratched the surface last year of what it can be down the road. Watching that ascension this year, and any associated growing pains, will be interesting.