After finishing at the bottom of the Packerland Conference standings at 0-16 and ending up with an overall record of 2-22 last season, Sturgeon Bay’s girls basketball team is looking to improve in 2023-24.
The school’s superintendent, Dan Tjernagel, is in his first season as the Clippers’ head coach, after Casey Harrington resigned from the position.
Tjernagel is no stranger to basketball, having previously been a boys head coach at Nekoosa, as he enters his fourth season as a head coach.
Players who graduated from Sturgeon Bay’s girls team last season include five who saw significant playing time – Mackenzie Burlo, Emma Reinhardt, Autumn Rass, Brea Spritka and Madelyn Wind. Rass received honorable mention in the Packerland for 2022-23.
Tjernagel’s list of top returning players include senior Grace Felhofer, juniors Dasha Yeltysheva and Cady Carlson, sophomores Regan Kasten and Yarrow Goettelman, as well as senior Tori Alger, who did not play last season, but was on the team her sophomore year.
“Our girls work hard, do not give up and want to have fun as a team,” he said. “They get along well, they are eager to learn, and they are hungry to have success.”
Because the team lacks experience entering this season and recently hasn’t had a track record of winning many games at the varsity and junior varsity level, Tjernagel said “our overall numbers in the program are not strong, and individuals’ skills are not strong yet across the program.”
Tjernagel said the Clippers’ goals this season include improving as individuals and as a team.
“Play in a way that makes us more competitive, and then [that] can give us more opportunities to win some games,” he said.
Tjernagel said his main concerns “revolve around giving all our players the best opportunities to improve and develop as student-athletes – not only this season, but for the future – as well as playing in a way that gives our team the best chance to be successful this winter.”
“Overall, I look forward to working with our players and coaches to see how far we can improve in the next four months, and also have fun along the way,” he said.
Sturgeon Bay is scheduled to open the season Thursday with a non-conference game at Chilton. The Clippers host their first conference game Nov. 28 against Oconto.