It will be a major year of transition for the Delta girls basketball team with the loss of longtime head coach Ryan Ripke plus five quality players.
Under Ripke the Panthers were able to claim three Northwest Ohio Athletic League championships and a pair of district titles — the last of which came last season. The reins will now be turned over to Kelsey Gillen, who also serves as softball coach at the school.
“With all new coaching staff and a very young team we are looking to compete in every game and grow as a team throughout the season,” said Gillen of her outlook for the 2021-22 campaign.
Returning letter winners for Gillen include Jersey Irelan, Khloe Weber, Sophia Burres, Grace Munger and Olivia Smith. The Panthers will also be adding newcomers Alani Haas, Kate Friess, Ashlyn Lamb, Olivia Turi and Kendall Sprow.
“Young team with decent speed,” Gillen said on the strengths of her squad. She adds that having only three upperclassmen is their main weakness.
The Panthers will be without five players who were a big part of last year’s 17-7 team. Most notably, is the loss of Brooklyn Green who was NWOAL Player of the Year, first team All-District 7, second team All-Northwest District and honorable mention All-Ohio a year ago.
Also gone are Braelyn Wymer (second team all-league, honorable mention District 7), Reagan Rouleau (second team all-league, honorable mention District 7), Brooklyn Wymer (honorable mention all-league, District 7) and Ella Ford (honorable mention all-league, District 7).
Delta will do its best to compete against the many quality teams in the NWOAL. They begin league play on Friday, Dec. 17 at Patrick Henry.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.