Young athletes expected to fill starting roles due to injuries

Sophomores Tanner Moore and Grace Goetsch fill starting roles in their respective sports

The+boys+basketball+team+searches+to+fill+the+absence+of+junior+point+guard+Cooper+Kaifes+after+he+suffered+a+broken+foot+injury+early+on+in+the+season.

By Claire Boone

The boys basketball team searches to fill the absence of junior point guard Cooper Kaifes after he suffered a broken foot injury early on in the season.

Katya Gillig, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

Losing a valuable player can have a drastic impact on a team. With the leading scorer in boys basketball and the varsity goalkeeper in girls soccer both injured, many younger players have had to step up to fill the void.

Sophomore Tanner Moore was forced to step up and become a starter in boys basketball to fill junior Cooper Kaifes’ spot. Kaifes was the only returning starter from last year’s state team, and will miss the remainder of the season due to a stress fracture in his foot.  According to Moore, he did not have any nerves about taking on the role.

“He was a big part of the team. He was our leading scorer, and he’s probably the most experienced on the team,” Moore said. “It’s a big loss, but we found ways to deal with it.”

The girls soccer team also will have changes at a key position after junior Bailey Heffernon tore her ACL, resulting in her missing the entire upcoming season. Sophomore Grace Goetsch, who was the junior varsity goalkeeper and back up for varsity last year, will likely become the varsity goalkeeper in her place. Goetsch believes it will be a more challenging transition.

“A goalkeeper is one of the most important positions,” Goetsch said. “So having that change will be something for everyone to get used to.”

Goetsch believe that other changes regarding the team with add to the pressure of losing a main player.

“Our season hasn’t started yet, but we lost a lot of amazing players,” Goetsch said. “As well as being in the EKL this season there will be a lot of big changes.”

The basketball team only has four seniors on the team this year. Moore believes that the lack of seniors has “been tough,” but have had a lot of young players “step up.”

The offense has also had to adjust because of Kaifes’ injury. According to Kaifes, they have seen a dip in scoring, and have had to run a new motion offense to make up for that.

“I think some of the scoring has gone away because I was the leading scorer,” Kaifes said. “They had to pick that up.”

Moore also thinks that it will help the team when Kaifes returns next season.

“Later [this season] and next season we will be a lot more experienced,” Moore said. “We’ll have a lot more guys who have had the experience of playing that varsity time and that will help us.”

Goetsch does not believe Heffernon’s absence will change the team’s goals this season, partly because of the talent of the new players coming in.

“[Making it to state] is always our goal every season,” Goetsch said. “We have a lot of amazing new players coming in so I am confident all of our teams will do well this season.”

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