Taylorsville girls basketball eager to competeNov 30, 2023 01:33PM ● By Josh McFadden
The Taylorsville girls basketball team returns some key players this season as the Warriors compete in Region 4. (Photo courtesy Heidi Sterzer and Brittany Teller)
The 2023–24 season is here, and the Taylorsville girls basketball team finds itself in a new region. But the Warriors’ objectives haven’t changed.
“Our team goals are always to finish first in our region, finish the season with a strong RPI rating and play well in the state tournament,” head coach Reggie Jewkes said. “I'm expecting our team to be competitive and disciplined enough to accomplish our goals this season.”
The Warriors are now in Class 5A’s Region 2, having been in Region 3 of 6A the past few seasons. Most of the opponents are the same—Granger, Kearns, Hunter and Cyprus—but West Jordan now is a league foe.
For Taylorsville to achieve its goals and be a factor in the region, Jewkes said teamwork will be the key.
“For the season to be a success for us, we'll need to work hard and work together as a team,” she said. “We do have good team unity and chemistry, and I hope we can continue to play for the team and not for ourselves. We have several unselfish players who are committed to achieving our goals together.”
Jewkes has some talent to work with. Fortunately for him and his staff, a trio of All-Region performers are back. Seniors Jenna Sterzer and Ella Wolfgramm, along with junior guard Marlee Reupena, will lead the Warriors. Wolfgramm joins Reupena at the guard line, while Sterzer anchors the post and brings toughness down low.
Sterzer is a strong, natural rebounder who can score in the paint,” Jewkes said. Wolfgramm is a good outside shooter, passer and rebounder. Reupena is our quarterback; she runs the show for us on the court. She has a complete game and contributes in many ways. We also have several good outside shooters who really help spread defenses and open up the lane.”
But Jewkes has other players she can turn to for help.
Seniors Alyssa Harrison, Janelle Zapata and Aysha Salami have experience and add depth to the Warriors. They are part of a group of seniors who have been fixtures on the floor for Taylorsville.
“We really have a strong senior class this year,” Jewkes said. “Our seniors have played together for four years at Taylorsville High School, which is really valuable because they know one another's strengths and weaknesses. We also have some good young talent this year who should contribute well to our program.”
Jewkes said the team excels at rebounding and aggressive defense. The Warriors should also shoot the ball well from outside. What Jewkes might love the most about this group is its ability to compete on the floor and play together as a cohesive unit.
Of course, Taylorsville will face some challenges, too. The injury bug has already bit the team. There are also some young players who need to learn quickly and be ready to contribute.
“If we can stay healthy, we could have a fun and successful season,” Jewkes said.
Jewkes also praised her coaching staff, including her son Rickey Jewkes, who has been an assistant for four years. Second-year assistant coach Ema “Stretch” Mumford is a former Taylorsville All-State player who led the state in blocks during her career. The head coach also loves this group of girls.
“I really enjoy coaching this team because every player is coachable, respectful and fun,” she said. “They simply help make coaching enjoyable for me and my coaches. Our players are teammates and friends, and that makes for a fun and successful team.”
Taylorsville opened the season Nov. 17 at home against Summit Academy. Region 4 play starts Jan. 12 at Hunter. Jewkes acknowledges some heavy hearts around the program. Before the season began, Taylorsville Principal Emme Liddell passed away.
“She loved our team and was a great supporter,” she said. “She was also a good friend of mine. Our team would like to have a successful season in her memory. She was one of our best fans.”