Sophomores, juniors lead Flyers this year

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Glancing at the roster of the Lindbergh High School girls’ basketball team, it’s apparent the Flyers have a lot of sophomores and juniors playing this season.

While some may consider this a rebuilding year for the Flyers, others view it as a youth movement as Lindbergh looks to improve on last season’s overall record of 15-12 with a 3-5 mark in Suburban West Conference play.

“We lost a lot of kids from last year,” Lindbergh head coach Bill Thoele told the Call. “We’re going to be a little quicker than we’ve been in the past, so we’ll try playing more of a full-court game.”

The Flyers head coach does realize that with such a young squad, Lindbergh may go through some spurts of growing pains before settling into the 2006-2007 season.

“We’re probably going to struggle early on,” Thoele said. “But hopefully by the end of the year, we’ll be playing good team basketball.”

Kelli Oettle (5 feet, 6 inches) will be the Flyers’ lone senior this season after averaging 1.7 points and 1.2 rebounds a game last year. Oettle recorded 19 assists and 19 steals, and Thoele is looking forward to the senior guard being one of the cornerstones of the team’s defense this season.

“Kelli’s going to give us a lot of good defense and put a lot of pressure on the ball,” Thoele said. “She’s going to be a leader on this team and whatever offense we get out of her will be a bonus for us.”

Point guard Aimee Ubriaco (5 feet, 3 inches) also will return to the starting lineup as the team’s top returning scoring threat after averaging 5.9 points and 3.7 rebounds a game last season. The senior point guard also led the Flyers in assists (126) and steals (67) last season.

“Aimee’s a pretty good point guard that’s tough and really does a great job for us,” Thoele said. “What we need from her is that if she’s open (this season), she needs to go ahead and take the shot.”

At center for the Flyers will be sophomore Emily Bozdeck (5 feet, 10 inches), who averaged 3.7 points and 5.1 rebounds a game last season. Bozdeck’s physical presence under the basket should bode well for the Flyers.

“Emily’s a very strong and smart player,” Thoele said. “She’s probably improved 100 percent since last year. She practices extremely hard and should be a physical presence for us under the basket.”

Sophomore forward Brittany Casey rejoins the Flyers after seeing limited action last season. Thoele believes that if Casey uses her speed to position herself properly on the court, she’s going to have a successful season.

“Brittany’s probably as fast as anyone on the team,” Thoele said. “The key for her is to run the floor well and get into position for the rebound. I think that she’s going to do really well for us this year.”

Thoele expects big things from freshman guard Alicia Ubriaco, whom the Flyers head coach believes is the best shooter on the team.

“Alicia’s probably the best shooter on the team,” Thoele said. “She’s a very smart player that has a good basketball sense. Overall, I think she’s going to turn into one of our better players this year.”

“We open up the season with a pretty tough schedule,” Thoele said. “It’s going to tell us a lot and let us see where we’re at and what we need to work on.”

Lindbergh was scheduled to open the 2006-2007 season against Kirkwood on Tuesday — after the Call went to press — and is slated to play Nerinx Hall today — Nov. 30 — and Villa Duchesne on Friday.

The Flyers’ meeting with Nerinx Hall is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start while the Villa Duchesne game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start at Kirkwood High School.