The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
Head coach Erin Carey said the Wilson Bruins are in rebuild mode this season.
Last year’s squad saw six of their players graduate. This year’s team only has three seniors, so the group has a lot of younger players.
“I feel like it’s a great opportunity,” Junior Paige Williams said. “We’re bringing up a lot of new players and they get to show what they’re wanting to show.”
Wilson is also benefiting from having a complete program again.
“We are back to having all three levels this year which is crucial for growth,” Carey said. “We are going back to the basics and rebuilding brick by brick. Overall, holding the teams to a higher standard.”
Carey’s rebuild process is focused on structure and discipline, especially as Carey is returning to this coaching position. She is also enforcing success for his athletes in the classroom, alongside the hope for courtside success.
“I want my girls to be successful student athletes,” Carey said. “They are students first, being an athlete is a privilege.”
This expectation is known throughout the program. Williams praised her coaching staff, saying she appreciates the pressure for achievement.
“I feel like they hold us to a lot of high expectations, which is good because they don’t want the bare minimum or just the average,” Williams said. “They want the best of the best.”
Williams is one key returner for the Bruins leading the way for this success. Williams earned First Team Moore League honors but will be stepping into a point guard position this year.
“We don’t have a traditional point guard so I am pushing her to step into that role and I expect her to do great things,” Carey said. “She is a natural athlete and has a strong, and consistent jumper.”
Young Bruin Brooklyn Honda is another key returner for Wilson. Carey said Honda started as a freshman last year, and worked hard over the summer to improve on the court.
“She has become a voice on the floor for us and will do whatever it takes to help her team win,” Carey said. “She is as hardworking in the classroom as she is on the court.”
Juniors Joy Hassell and Jordyn Davis will be two more important players for Wilson. Carey said you might not have heard their names yet, but you will by the end of the season.
“They are aggressive on both ends of the floor. They are naturally athletic and don’t want to lose so they’ll do what they need to so that doesn’t happen,” Carey said. “They are the type of player every coach wants, they will dive on loose balls, control the boards, play with grit and play wherever you ask them to with a smile on their face.”
Carey says these asset players are helping to achieve Wilson’s goals of consistency and daily growth and development.
“Our main focus is us, and what we can control,” Carey said. “We can control our effort, our focus, and our attitudes. Once we can do those things well and consistently, then the other pieces will fall into place.”