Winter Sports Preview: Girls Basketball


Skylar Stanley

Senior team leaders Lexi Vigil, Ashlyn Thomson, and Abby Parker look forward to the upcoming season, which kicks off November 15, 2021.

As fall sports are coming to an end, the upcoming season for Girls’ Basketball is approaching quickly. Head coach Justin Armour stepped down after several years with the program, and new varsity head coach and member of the Manitou Springs High School coaching staff for several years, Jessie Nunley, is excited and ready to lead during the upcoming season. Juliana Argyle is the new JV coach and Gabby Santos is the C-Team coach. This trifecta of women coaches hope to inspire the players and push them to their full potential. 

Girls Basketball will be led by seniors Abigail Parker, Ashlyn Thomson, and Alexia Vigil. Parker and Vigil have played at the varsity level for the past three years. Thomson, who played at the varsity level as a freshman, returns to the court after recovering from a torn ACL and missing two seasons of basketball. When asked how she feels about returning to the game, Thomson said, “It is both exciting and nerve-racking. But, at the end of the day this is the sport that I love and I cannot wait to play with the girls that I grew up playing with.” This senior group will serve as a trio of leadership with set goals and expectations. “I think our goals for the season are to connect with each other and build an environment where we can hold each other accountable while still having fun. I also think that we can work towards being at the top of our league,” Parker said. 

I want to leave this season with no regrets and knowing that I have made an impact on the basketball program.

— Lexi Vigil (12)

The team will also benefit from returning juniors – Sami Benge-Kulzer, Ayla Flett, Kaleena Jones, Norah Jorstad, and Lauren Reed. Many of these girls have played together since middle school and will utilize the chemistry that they have developed over the years. The team also hopes to welcome back junior Grace Allen who suffered an ACL tear toward the end of the 2020-21 season. As a longtime player and asset to the team dynamic, Allen remains positive about a mid-season return. “I have a goal to return by the second half of the season, but I keep my focus on a steady and complete recovery,” Allen said. The Lady ‘Stangs are hopeful that Allen will be off of the sidelines before season’s end. 

The Manitou Springs High School Girls Basketball Team ended the shortened 2020-21 season going 6-4 overall and 6-2 in league. They found success with big wins over Florence, Salida, and Banning Lewis, but struggled against rivals St. Mary’s and Vanguard. The girls are determined to find victory against more challenging teams this season. Senior Alexia Vigil has high hopes of leaving a lasting impression to include a winning record and possibly even making it to state. “I want to leave this season with no regrets and knowing that I have made an impact on the basketball program,” Vigil said. Vigil’s sentiments ring true amongst the senior cast, with the girls all agreeing that the standard of success is on their minds. 

One thing stands true as the girls head into the basketball season and that is combined resilience. Through coaching adjustments, recovering from injuries, and maintaining a steady level of play, the team is ready to face whatever challenges come their way. The players also look forward to some new talent joining to help round out the team. “Since we haven’t really had a normal basketball season for a while, I think it will be super important that our upperclassmen set an example and show what our basketball culture is about. For new teammates, I am just excited to meet everyone,” Parker said. 

This team has deep roots and will perform like a “family” on the court. They will support each other, trust each other, and bring their best efforts to every game this season. Go Lady ‘Stangs!