It is always important to have a successful first year while running a new program, and that is exactly what Mark Gnapp had last winter with his girls’ basketball program.
“I thought it was important to get things going in the right direction, as we definitely had some nice wins and a good divisional record,” said Gnapp. “However, the biggest thing to carry over to this year from last season will be the hard work and ‘buying into the system’ that the girls demonstrated last year.”
Luckily for Gnapp, he will have a solid returning core of players from last year’s squad that went 13-9. He will look to point guard, and Fairleigh Dickinson University commit, Devyn Scott ’20 for another productive season, as she has been performing at a high level so far in pre-season. Another senior he is excited about is Tor Goldin, who is expected to play a larger role on the court this winter.
The Knights will bring back least year’s leading point scorer and rebounder in Caileigh Walsh ’21, who has been receiving offers from many top Division I program and demonstrates tremendous upside. GSB will also see a lift from having Ella Fajardo ’21 for a full season. Aniyah Boston ’23 brings tremendous athletic ability to the roster, and can guard multiple positions.
Gnapp is also particularly excited about a great group of role players that he has on the roster this season. Kayla Palaia ’22 is a tough, good defensive player, Zyane Shepard ’22 looks to be a big rebounder for the Knights and to finish plays by the basket, Anna Gnapp '22 will provide a spark in outside shooting, and soccer standout Teresa Zimmer ’20 will hit the court for the first time for GSB and brings quickness and great athletic ability.
“I believe we have a lot more depth this year than last year, and that is going to help us a lot as we navigate our tough schedule,” he said. “We have a great group of kids on and off the court, and the coaches have really enjoyed working with them.”
Gill will be facing top competition once again this season, as they will battle Franklin, the number one team in New Jersey last year, within the division, along with participating in a variety of high-end showcases.
“The competition will be very tough, but I look it because it will make our kids better and prepare them for the college level, which we are all about,” said Gnapp. “Our goals are to just be better than last year, keep improving, and hopefully that will translate to winning conference, county and sectional titles.”