Foster High’s new girls basketball coach has his dream job and his players are excited about the season.
“Foster is a dream job for me,” said new Foster Coach Eric Smith. “I plan to be here for a while and I’m 100 percent sure two years from now foster will be a powerhouse.”
He’s building this year’s team around three seniors with plenty of experience.
Bre Mills joins fellow seniors Marquis Daniels and Eunica Serafica as the team’s captains. She’s played four years for the Bulldogs.
“I am really excited about this season,” said Mills, a post and wing on the team. “I feel like we have a lot of really good girls on the team.”
Before Foster, Smith coached boys basketball for five years at Chief Leschi High School in Puyallup, where his teams won a league title and appeared in three state playoffs.
In his first year he was named SeaTac 2B League coach of the year.
He coached girls AAU basketball for DAP Sports in Olympia for three years and was a volunteer coach for Grays Harbor College.
The girls opened the season with a 63-17 loss Dec. 3 against Seattle Christian but came back the next day to beat Rainier Beach 63-18.
“We had first-game jitters. Things like that,” said Smith. “The second game, they were more comfortable and came to play. We played the way we are supposed to play.”
The girls kick off their league play today (Wednesday) against the Lindbergh Eagles at Lindbergh. The game starts at 7 p.m.
In a pre-season interview Smith said the team so far “has been looking strong defensively. What we lack in size we try to makeup in speed.”
The nucleus of his team, he said, is his three senior captains, Serafica, Daniels and Mills.
“They are at practice and set the tone everyday by working hard and have made my first year really easy with their leadership so far,” he said.
His varsity team is young: a lone junior, five sophomores and two freshmen join the three seniors.
“I expect them to make lots of mistakes from inexperience but hope with the energy and hard-nosed defense, they can make up for the mistakes,” he said.
The team’s strength is its defense, he said.
“We will try to be a headache for any team we play,” he said. “We plan to play four quarters of pressure defense.”
Offensively, the team will “basically read and react” and push the ball back up the court.
He hasn’t discovered the team’s weaknesses “and hopefully I won’t,” he said.
Foster’s new assistant coach is Brandi Travess, who was the girls varsity head coach at Tyee High School. She’ll coach the JV team.
“I’m lucky to have her working with the JV team, because I know that will help our future,” he said.
He thanked Athletic Director J.D. Hill for “trusting me with the job” and the Foster staff that has supported him.