Coach Gallivan Brings New System to Girls Basketball


The three captains pose for a picture.

Olivia O'Brien

The three captains pose for a picture.
The three captains pose for a picture.

As every new sports season approaches, players are bound to have to adapt to new changes. And, of couse, this year is no exception.

All three teams— Freshmen, Junior Varsity, and Varsity — will be led by new coaches this year.  The freshmen team will be led by Anne Marie Lavanchy; the JV team, Kim Sing, who is an alumni from Brockton High School.  The new Varsity coach Jim Gallivan, who previously coached at Oliver Ames High School and Framingham State College, is bringing a new system to Girls Basketball this year. Gallivan said, “There is a lot of experience of the coaching staff this year.”  New Assistant CoachMarion Houser is a former player of Oliver Ames High School and Boston University.  The other Assistant Coach, Mary Birch, is a former point guard of St. Michaels College.

The Varsity team will be led by senior Captains Elizabeth Ryan, Nell Sandvos, and Bri Doherty.  Sandvos said, “Despite all the changes and adjustments that come with a new coach, I’m really confident in the returning players that we have. Hopefully the new talent that we have will make us as good as anyone in the Bay State League.”

Girls Basketball finished 10-7 last season, the last loss coming in the first round of the Division 2 Tournament aginst a very proficient Bishop Feehan team.

Junior Summer King said, “It will be a good year because our team has a lot of height and I think we will do a good job capitalizing on it.”

King is one of three players that is over six feet tall; the other two are junior Olivia O’Brien and  Doherty.

With returning players such as juniors Julie Moser  and King along with Sandvos, Doherty, and Ryan, the team is bound to have experience on the court despite the loss of mant key seniors last year.  Last year’s captains, Lauren Bodin and Bridget Nicholson, scored most of the outside shots, so the team will be looking for shooters this coming season. With the loss of critical players, new players and underclassmen will have to step up.

Since this is Gallivan’s first year coaching for Walpole, he does not have a set lineup and rotation yet.  Gallivan said, “I am looking forward to a lot of my questions being answered.  I don’t know who’s on my team yet.”  This upcoming season will be an opportunity for players that are new and old to start with a clean slate.  Gallivan has not seen many of the girls play before, so no spots are definite and anyone can prove themselves.  Gallivan said, “I am looking forward to seeing who has really worked their hardest to improve.”  On Tuesday, December 17 against Newton North, the girls and the new coaching staff will begin their season in hopes of success.