Corona’s girls basketball team isn’t big.
No, really, they have only six girls on their roster, making every foul and injury potentially season-threatening to the entire team.
“We have four juniors and two eighth-graders. That’s it,” said Corona coach Denise Martin. “It will be a challenge, but we just need five that can play together. Then we’ll be in good shape.
Martin returns to coaching a team she helped lead more than a decade ago, only now she’s coaching daughter Allison as one of the team’s four juniors.
Allison Martin is joined by Alyssa Mulnix, Faith Riley and Alondra Maldonado as the upperclass foursome. Then there’s eighth graders RJ Lucero and Katie Martin.
“Six and that’s it, there’s no sitting down to rest,” said coach Martin. “We have to power through it.”
The Cardinals haven’t had much time to condition in advance of their season opener this weekend at the Vaughn Aguila Classic, but Martin said that’s not really that big a problem.
Most Corona kids are ranch kids, and they’ve been busy with FFA, 4H, or just working on their parents’ ranch.
That makes for some tough and hardy individuals.
“That helps a lot,” Martin said. “Almost all these girls have no give to them.”
Corona was 10-17 last season, 2-4 in District 3-1A, having only defeated Vaughn in district play.
Indeed, the Cardinals had Lake Arthur’s number. Five of their 10 wins came against the Panthers, including in the Vaughn Aguila Classic.
That’s who they open the season with this Friday, and Martin is ready.
“We’re real excited. My assistant (Sarah Stewart) and I are ready to go,” Martin said. “We’re having fun as they learn.”