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New season looks bright for enthusiastic 'Jackets
Hilmar girls bball 2
Junior Hailey Chavez of Hilmar tries to dribble past senior Jackie Berumen during practice in the Jackets small gym. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Things are definitely looking up for the Hilmar High girls basketball team.

Last season, the team was led in scoring by sophomore Hailey Chavez as the Yellowjackets amassed a 10-15 overall record for the year, missing the playoffs and mounting a two-year playoff drought in the process.

“We are motivated and have been practicing a lot over the summer...we lost some key players but I think with who we have now we are going to be really good this year,” said Chavez. “I hope we can make it to playoffs this year.”

With soccer coming into the winter time, the team also had to battle with numbers as a smaller school and will have just one senior on the team in Jackie Berumen.

“Being the only senior, it’s a little nerve wrecking because you have to set an example for the rest of the girls and so it’s a little scary but we should be doing fine with our other captains,” said Berumen.

Chavez is that other captain.

The now-junior was the 'Jackets leading scorer a year ago by a large margin with 10.4 points per game while grabbing 5.8 boards and 1.3 steals.

“I expect myself to do good this year,” said Chavez. “I am just really anxious and excited to play."

Hilmar was 4-8 in the Trans-Valley League just a year ago under head coach Don Inman, but the veteran group is yearning for an opportunity to turn that record around.

In order to do so, Chavez and Berumen will have to continue their progress with this year’s team and take all they have learned and hopefully implement it on to the court and with their teammates.

“What it's gonna take is hard work and we will be working very hard during practices... we will show it on the court that we will be playing hard,” said Berumen. “I think we are capable because we have skills and we seem to mesh well, we should be okay.”

“We are ready to go,” Chavez added.

Hilmar's first game will be against Denair on the road at 7 p.m. Thursday.