Since third grade, my winters have been predictable. They smell like the dusty, chilled air of school gyms across the state of Connecticut. They sound like the recognizable squeaking of sneakers and the earthquake-like pounding of a Spalding basketball. They feel like riding a bike or slipping into a pair of broken-in, heavily worn shoes: comfortable. Beginning with my days as No. 9 on the Pink Team for Wilton’s Rec league, the events of the four months following Thanksgiving have been a mainstay — Christmas vacation, school work, and February break all secondary to the whirlwind of late-night practices, ever-present washing machine spins, and carbo-loading team dinners. So it’s that time of year again, and my excitement begins. But this year, I need to break in two new pairs of shoes — only one of which is my actual pair of basketball sneakers. They’re my favorite shade of Warrior blue and decorated with slithering snakes — a not-so-subtle ode to my well-known love for Taylor Swift. The other pair of shoes, perhaps more symbolic, is the change I’ll feel this season — a newness I’m hopeful to “break in” along with my Nikes.
For the front-to-back Wilton Bulletin readers out there, you may recall the success of our varsity girls basketball program last year. We won — a lot. Our FCIAC winning streak ended with a hard-fought loss to the Trumbull Eagles in the final game. However, what you probably don’t know is that we shared a tight-knit camaraderie throughout the season — and beyond. Seniors, freshmen, coaches, parents, and everyone in between could not deny our genuine friendship — something I’ve found is not always the case in high school sports. Each of us agrees our success was a direct result of this undeniable team bond. At the helm, was our coach of three years — perhaps a more active supporter of all of us than anyone understood. But as seasons always do, our run came to an end on March 1st, and we turned the page with eyes on next winter.