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Change is in the air and youth is king at Rosary.
Gone is Dave Beebe, who was let go last year after coaching for 17 seasons at Rosary, the last 12 as varsity coach.
In is Jessie Wilcox, at 25 the youngest area coach and one with a lot of success in her playing days in high school and playing Division I college basketball.
Rosary returns five seniors who should make the transition easier: Madison Richmond, Karly Tate, Mary Wentworth, Amy Seraphin and Maddy Hemmerich.
Tate overcame an emergency appendectomy last year to lead the team in scoring at 12.7 points a game. She also averaged 6.6 rebounds, 1.7 3s and 2.8 steals a game -- all team-highs.
"We will depend on them for numerous roles within the team," Wilcox said. "The biggest thing that we need from them is leadership and energy, both on and off the court."
Juniors Rachel Choice, Emily Bakala, Sydney Zaragoza and Lauren Kieffer and a trio of sophomores Quincy Kellett, Megan Conlin and Adrienne Winkel are also making a good first impression on Wilcox.
The Royals need that kind of depth to play the kind of fast-paced style Wilcox prefers.
"Don't let their age fool you, they will be expected to play big roles within our program and see lots of minutes," Wilcox said.
"We are planning on being an uptempo, high-pressure, run-and-gun team. We are hoping to use our speed and athletic abilities to our advantage and beat players up and down the court."
Wilcox was a four-year letter winner at Oshkosh West High School in Wisconsin, leading her teams to back-to-back Wisconsin state championships in 2003 and 2004. She earned a Division I scholarship to Northern Illinois and played point guard for the Huskies for four years.
Wilcox got into coaching after finishing her collegiate career with 1,007 points. Upon graduation Wilcox relocated to Colorado for a year and coached the Lady Survivors, a high school AAU program out of Denver.
Since 2010, Wilcox was the assistant women's basketball coach and head women's golf coach at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, an NCAA Division III school. Wilcox helped coach the DeKalb High School girls team while in college and learned about some of the high school programs she'll face at Rosary.
The Royals are coming off a 9-18 season, a rare losing record for a team normally among the best in the Suburban Christian Conference.
They got off to a good start in their opener Monday scoring 58 points against IMSA.
"I like the fast-paced offensive game, I like to take advantage of the (other) team when they are on their heels," Wilcox said. "Defensively we are the up-in-the-shorts philosophy, man and putting pressure on getting the offensive team out of what they want to run."
Coach: Jessie Wilcox
Last year: 9-18
Key players: Karly Tate (sr., F); Madison Richmond (sr., G); Mary Wentworth (sr., G/F)
Skinny: A new era begins looking to build on Royals' winning tradition