For the first time in more than a year, the Dunkirk Lady Marauders were able to play a home game at 620 Marauder Drive, and they couldn't have been happier to finally be home.
"Honestly, I think we all are excited," Dunkirk head coach Sarah Bogardus said after her team's 44-35 non-league win over Lake Shore, on Tuesday night. "I think every single member of our team is excited. They all know their roles. They've perfected, and tried to work on those roles over the summer and I think they realize the potential they have if they all come together and execute. So I think everyone is equally excited about this season."
For Bogardus, who is in her second season as varsity coach, Tuesday night's game represented the first time she was able to coach a home game in Dunkirk High School's main gym.
OBSERVER?Photo by Gib?Snyder?III
The Dunkirk?Lady Marauders played their first home game in two years after renovations were completed to the new gymnasium last spring.
"It was great," Bogardus said of finally being able to coach a game in Dunkirk's refurbished gym. "It's a beautiful gym and we had a lot of people come out and support us (Tuesday).
"But I definitely think that was on the girls' minds," Bogardus continued. "You could tell that (the players) had the jitters. I think they had so much adrenaline that they were just kind of all over the place, because they were so excited to be back in their home gym."
Of their new digs, Bogardus noted that her girls couldn't be happier to be home, but noted that there are some aspects they have to adjust to.
"It's definitely an adjustment shooting at the far basket because of depth perception," Bogardus said. "They've never had that issue, but there are many gyms that we play in that do have that. So we really try to practice a lot at that basket, so they can get that depth perception down. And they're doing fine, they're adjusting to it."
The boys had a chance to earn the first varsity basketball win on Monday night when they hosted Silver Creek. However, the Black Knights spoiled the house warming party, defeating the Marauders, 90-70. Bogardus was happy her girls were able to claim that first win, noting that the girls probably won't let the boys live it down.
"I'm sure they might say some things to them," Bogardus said with a laugh.
With a nice crowd on hand both Monday and Tuesday, Bogardus was more than happy with the support the boys, and her girls received. However, she knows the noise level will be intensified the first time arch-rival Fredonia pays its first visit to the new gym.
"Louder," Bogardus said of what she thinks the noise level will be when the Lady Marauders take on arch-rival Fredonia. "It's going to be louder. I was very pleased with the turnout (Tuesday) in the opening game in the new gym, but obviously against Fredonia it's going to be mayhem."