If all things aged like fine wine, the women's basketball team would be in need of a few more years in the cellar before they were ready for competition. Although many University of Calgary students are on a five-year plan, none of the current Dinos have the legendary super-senior status common in the undergraduate population.
The women were in a similar situation last year, with only one fifth-year player, before shocking Canada West with tremendous play game-in and game-out.
"This is the youngest team I've ever coached," said Head Coach Shawnee Harle. "I am very excited about all four of our rookies. All four have the ability to make a contribution this year."
So far the team has outstanding chemistry, and the only thing holding them back is the inexperience that so often courts youth. Fortunately, leadership on this youthful team is as plentiful as 17-year-old hoochies at the Den on a Friday night, as there are women who've been here before.
"We're going to need more out of the followers to compete with the best teams in our league," said Harle.
And what a group of followers they have. Presenting the 2003-04 rookie line-up in super-ultra-amazingly-alphabetic order.
Donning number five is engineering student Chantal Corbett. The Calgary resident will be a guard for the Dinos.
Britt Grydeland is a science student from Campbell River, BC. Sporting number 15, she will play forward this year.
Michelle Stiphout from North Vancouver will patrol the post position in jersey number 11. By some twisted turn of fate, this rookie is in her third year of social science. She actually spent two years in college before gracing the U of C with her presence.
Number four, Pamela Weatherbee, is a biological science, or "pre-med," student from Calgary--she will be a point guard this year.
"The team is younger, but has a lot of heart," explained Weatherbee. "High school wasn't such a high demand, school is as important as sports here."
University life is an even bigger change for Grydeland. Living in residence, far away from home, she now has a lot more independence.
"It's hard to not go out when you've got practice the next day," pined Grydeland.
As we impatiently anticipate the exciting season ahead, we can look forward to a few surprises, according to Harle.
"I don't know how soon we're going to be good, but we are," she promised.
To find out more about the girls or the games, check out their website at www.ucwomensbball.com and come out and show your full support.