Suffering through the Murray Spartans girls basketball team's winless campaign last season might have been hardest on Brittany Golder.
Golder, who was expected to be Murray's go-to player, tore her ACL before the start of the season and watched helplessly as her teammates finished 0-21.
"Last year was really emotional for me," Golder said. "We had several really close games, and I just felt helpless the whole season."
Golder averaged more than 9 points per game as a sophomore and worked tirelessly in the offseason to get the knee ready for her senior year.
She recently was given the go-ahead from doctors to play without a brace, and now she's ready to show everyone that Murray isn't going to be the pushover it was last year.
"Practices have been pretty intense, and I think we're going to surprise some people," Golder said.
Bringing the intensity to the Murray practices is coach Lisa White, who retired in 2007 but came back to help a program that hasn't won a game since Feb. 1, 2011, a 37-36 win over West.
One of her first duties upon returning was to hire a support staff. Former assistant Wendy Sanders returned to help with the varsity, and former players Tiffany Dodge and Keisha Catten bring an immediate pulse to a team lacking program pride.
"Just having Tiffany and Keisha around brings an immediate been-there and done-that to our program," White said.
When White took over this summer, she saw a team with the desire to start winning, but one that lacked the tools to win on a regular basis.
"The first thing I could see was that these girls really wanted to win," White said. "The next things I saw was we were very young and needed team unity and a lot of work."
Midway through fall camp, it appears youth definitely will be part of the Murray rotation. White said eight seniors, one junior, six sophomores and six freshmen tried out for the team.
Of the six freshmen, White said three likely will see minutes at the varsity level.
Nowhere to go but up
The Murray girls basketball team enters this season with a 25-game losing streak. The Spartans' last win came Feb. 1, 2011, a 37-36 win over West.
Murray lost two 1-point games to Herriman last season and dropped its season finale in overtime against Westlake.
With a host of young players seeing minutes last season, an optimistic group is getting ready for its season opener at Ben Lomond on Nov. 29.