Lely sports teams ready for new starts

Lely sports teams get back into action, with all looking toward a strong start in 2010.

The girls basketball team, 3-7, has shown improvement and will host Golden Gate in district play at 7:30 p.m., Thursday.

“We are showing signs of improvement,” girls coach Paul Johnson said.

“This week serves as a new starting point, with a renewed attitude of going forward, winning more games in the second half of the season.”

Sophomore Shiree Dangler has given the team an offensive force, while Eliana Albert is the leader on defense. Shelby Johnston helps on the boards.

“Shiree (a sophomore) is trying to be a young team leader and Eliana (a junior), also a captain, take their roles serious in practice and in games,” Johnson said.

The boys host Golden Gate in a district match-up at 7:30 p.m., Friday.

“I hope 2010 sees us have a fresh start and a renewed appreciation of the game,” said boys coach Ryan Bowen of his 2-8 team.

The boys basketball team had a rough 2009, going 2-8, with only one home game, which was a win over Naples.

“It’s not that we are playing completely bad, it’s just that we aren’t playing well for four quarters,” he said.

“It will be nice to have some home cooking, with the fans generating energy to help our play. We want to have a good second half to be ready to play well in the districts (tournament.)”

The boys travel to Mariner on Saturday for a non-district contest.

Mark Lopez, Lady Trojans soccer coach, said the team had some really good practice time over the holidays. They played Immokalee on Tuesday night and host Naples at 7 p.m., Thursday. They travel to Community School of Naples for a 1 p.m., Saturday, game.

The boys soccer team also played Immokalee on Tuesday and are at Naples at 7 p.m., Thursday.

“Because of injuries, we finally have our entire team together for the first time this season,” coach Rob Schenk said.

The Trojans are 4-5-2, with a 2-2-1 district mark.

“We trained very hard over the holiday break to prepare ourselves for the playoffs,” he said. The team has four non-district games before the district playoffs begin on Jan. 25. Schenk expects a boost from fans as the playoffs are being hosted by Lely.

The wrestling team, under coach Tige Thompson, met stiff competition over the holiday break in the 1A Wars, featuring some of the best teams in the state. The team placed fourth out of 10 teams.

Wismit Moinius, 130 pounds, went 9-0, while Geoff Stephenson, at 125, went 7-1. Gillermo Moreno, at 135, was undefeated on the first day, going 4-0, but set out the second day with an injury.

It was a dual meet where each team got in as many as nine team matches.

On Saturday it will be individual matches in the Cougar Invitational on Friday and Saturday at Barron Collier.

“This will be one tough tournament,” Thompson said.

“Some of the top teams and best wrestlers in the state will be competing. We’ll be looking at some real studs.”

Premier teams include Miami Columbus, 3A state champs the last two years, Palmetto Ridge, a perennial state power, St. Thomas Aquinas and Cardinal Gibbons.

“We don’t know what to expect, but our wrestlers will compete in the weight classes where they expect to have a good shot to go to state,” Thompson said.

Stephenson will wrestle at 119, Moinius, 125 and Moreno, 130.

The Collier Athletic Conference Duals meet will be at Gulf Coast, beginning Jan. 15, while the Class 1A District 12 tourney will be at Lely, beginning Feb. 6.

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