CEDAR RAPIDS — Newbies often get overlooked.
But at Cedar Rapids Xavier this basketball season, they are getting a good look.
The Saints girls’ team welcomed five freshmen to its varsity team for the 2018-2019 season — Bella Barreto, Brielle Bastian, Aree Beckmann, Maya Karl and Mary Kate Moeder.
“Ever since I was little, I have grown up watching Xavier basketball,” Moeder said. “It is honestly surreal that the time is here, and it is so exciting. There has been a lot of time and effort put into the program, and I am excited for the season with my teammates and coaches.”
The freshman class has been playing together, for the Bulldogs, for seven years, providing a lot of team chemistry. Playing for the Xavier feeder program has allowed these freshmen to know what is expected of them and how to play like a Saint.
“Playing for the Bulldogs allowed me to meet Coach (Tom) Lilly and (Stephanie) Potts at a young age,” Moeder said. “They have helped me grow as a player and person, and I am grateful for the opportunity. I am excited to see how much I grow over the next four years.”
The Saints only returned one senior, Emily Jasper, and five juniors this year.
“I am excited to see how the freshmen can impact the team,” Jasper said. “They have a lot of energy and they are a breath of fresh air. I think this class has a lot of potential and will bring a lot to the team both on and off of the court.”
The freshmen want to emulate the upperclassmen.
“I look up to the older girls because they always work hard during practice, and they have helped me get used to the varsity environment,” Beckmann said. “They are great people on and off of the court.”
The Saints are 6-0 heading into Tuesday’s game at Dubuque Hempstead. They beat Linn-Mar, 46-24, last Friday then turned around and took down Iowa City Regina, 63-48, on Saturday.