Redwood is off to a strong 8-2 start as they look to defend their WYL crown
VISALIA – It’s been a smooth transition for the Redwood Rangers playing under new head coach Joey Gendron. The team’s former junior varsity assistant coach has climbed the ranks, inherited an established powerhouse and is helping the program continue their dominance through the first two months of the season.
With just two losses during the regular season that has about two weeks remaining, the reigning three-time league champions are 8-2 overall including a perfect 3-0 West Yosemite League (WYL) record. Their pair of losses were close battles as they lost by a combined six points to Clovis East and Morro Bay. They’ve won every game in league by at least three points as they’re averaging just under 12 goals per game.
Those tough conditioning practices are paying off as the team’s stamina has been a major key to success so far in the season.
“Our girls work really hard in practice every day and so our fitness is much better than most teams. Being in really good shape has been a huge factor for us,” Gendron said.
Since 2017, the Rangers have lost just one game in the WYL. They made it to the Division II Valley Championship in back-to-back years between 2017 and 2018 with one win, before losing in the first round of the playoffs in 2019 after being moved up to Division-I. This year the team is looking beyond their league with a goal of winning the Central Section title for the first time since a 2017 victory in double overtime against Monache.
With the new playoff format, the Rangers are currently in the middle of the pack in Division II as of the most recent rankings released last Thursday. Gendron is a fan of the new ranking system as he believes it places his team exactly where they need to be to stay competitive.
“I like it because our school is Division-I and Division-I is a little bit higher than where our caliber of play is. If we can be in a Division-II where we can play other teams that are more comparable to us and have an opportunity to win then it’s good for the school,” Gendron said.
The Rangers played Mt. Whitney last night after press time which concludes the first half of WYL play. The second half will start tomorrow as they travel to Lemoore to play at 6:30 p.m.