By Angela Pell
Varsity teams are usually reserved for upperclassmen, but Tiffanie Radwanski and Kaitlyn Bockelman are both playing up to the varsity level as freshman. Being that they are only ninth graders playing with upperclassmen, this is a big accomplishment for them, and they are very excited to take on the 2017-18 season for Lady Bears Basketball.
“Playing up to the varsity level as a freshman can be very nerve-racking,” Tiffanie stated. Playing with upperclassman can either be a great idea or a very scary, but both Tiff and Kaitlyn have said now that they’re comfortable, and it’s an awesome experience. Tiff enjoys playing with older students, stating, “I was really excited and happy, but I didn’t know how well I would be able to warm up and be comfortable around them.” She also added, “So far it’s been really fun.” She explained that being on varsity, she has to put in a lot of time and hard work to be good.
Kaitlyn said, “I love being on varsity. I’m very close with everyone and I like playing with girls that have more experience on the varsity level.” She also said she is very grateful to have the opportunity to play on the same team as both of her sisters, Lauren and Sara Bockelman.
The feeling is mutual with Kaitlyn and Tiffanie’s teammates. Michelle Jurcevic, a senior on Lady Bears Varsity, stated, ¨I love having Tiff and Katie on the team because they are a great addition to the team, and it gives me a chance to teach them new skills and see them grow as players.¨
Both girls started basketball at a young age. Tiff started playing when she was in first grade and Kaitlyn when she was in second. They played on an AAU club basketball team, where they travel and play games and tournaments with girls from other local schools. They were both on the same team and have been working together for a while now. Working together in the past could benefit them on varsity because they already know how to work well with each other.
Kaitlyn is positioned at point guard and stated, “It is rewarding to be able to play at the varsity level, although I’m still adjusting to the expectations of my position.” With the experience that she has, though, this shouldn’t be very difficult as the season goes on. Her goal is to make the most of her freshman year on varsity and to reach her 1,000th point by her senior year.
Tiffanie plays as shooting guard, forward, or whatever position the coach needs her as at the time. Her goals are to play varsity all four years of high school and to hopefully be in the starting five by next season. She knows it will be a lot of hard work, but she’s willing to put it in.
Both girls have said great things about the girls varsity basketball team and are very proud and happy to be able to play with such talented girls. They hope to see many members of the community attending the Girl’s Varsity Basketball games in the 2017-18 season; look out for numbers 23 and 31!
Angela Pell is a senior at North Royalton High School. She is a competition cheerleader at Midwest Cheer Elite Cleveland, a member of the NRHS art league, and also enjoys her job at the Jump Yard. She is formerly a member of the award-winning North Royalton High School Marching and concert bands. She is also a member of the app Wattpad, where she has written several fictional stories. In her free time she also enjoys photography. In fall of 2018 she will be attending Youngstown State University to focus on journalism.