Riding the bench with the Lady Wave

Madalynn Duffy

More stories from Madalynn Duffy


Knott Photography

The Lady Wave Girl’s Varsity Basketball Team.

The 2017-18 Girl’s Varsity Basketball season here at St. Ed’s has been one for the books. The Lady Wave have been taking control of the Metro Suburban Conference and are not looking to stop now. Being undefeated in conference, the Lady Wave continued to make things happen on and off the court. But the real magic doesn’t just happen on the court, it happens on the bench too.

Sitting on the bench for the Lady Wave is a big responsibility. There are many specific jobs such as: Filling the water cups half full, getting the water to the players coming off the court, cleaning up spills, and cheering their team on. “Our job is very specific, we work on cheers and make sure the starters (and the opponent bench) can hear us cheering each other on,” said bench captain Taylor Gredzieleski.

“It’s exciting because Taylor and I got water last year, then we moved up on the bench. We moved to the left,” said co-bench captain Mary Catherine Kelly.

The bench not only works its hardest during the games, but they each work hard during warm ups as well. For the bench, warm ups is the best time to hype up the starters. Before court warm-ups start, the team gathers in the locker room and this is where it all begins. “We blast music and many people attempt to dance,” said team manager Jordan Cumpata.

“Yeah, if you don’t almost pass out from screaming, you’re not part of the bench mode,” added Mackenzie Wilson.

What takes place next is the court warm-ups. This is their big moment to warm-up the starters for game time. Junior Rachel Hicks commented, “I rebound and try to make as clean and crisp passes as I can so that they can practice game-like shots.” These crucial fifteen minutes is all the bench is given to polish up the starters before game time.

“The bench is always on top of their game and it helps us get into game mode,” said starting center Mallory Rejman.

During the games the bench is the place to be. As the starters play, the bench start their real talents. “I work a lot on different sitting forms, like crossing my legs and not crossing my legs,” co-captain, Mary Catherine Kelly, adds. “Everyone’s talents range from crossing your legs a certain way to distracting the opponents.” No matter what the talent may be, everyone contributes to the game.

“I’m happy as long as I’m not sitting on the very last seat on the bench. That seat feels like the ultimate shame,” stated Madeline Ellsworth.

During every game communication is key. As each bench player watches the game they look for screens, skip passes and shots. They also make a point to call out each foul they see. “My favorite part about the bench has to be the talking and communicating with the players on the court. It keeps everyone involved in the game,” said head coach Michelle Dawson.

“Everyone is extremely enthusiastic and they energize the team,” added assistant coach Denny Butzow.

As the 2017-18 Girl’s Varsity Basketball season comes to an end the starters, Yssa Sto. Domingo, Madison Knott, Mallory Rejman, Mariel Franco and Hailey Niehaus, will continue to make the magic happen on the court, while the “bench”, Mary Catherine Kelly, Taylor Gredzieleski, Mackenzie Wilson, Izzy Hernandez, Jordan Cumpata, Rachel Hicks, Gabrielle DeWindt, Madeline Ellsworth, Samantha Ottinger, Ashley Miller, will continue to make the magic off the court. The two year starting left bench players and bench captains Mary Catherine Kelly and Taylor Gredzieleski continue to lead their bench to victory each game. But look out, because the bench is only getting started.