The Bishop LeBlond girls basketball team will return to the court this season with some valuable varsity experience from its players.

The Golden Eagles have a squad that has over half of their starting lineup returning for the 2018-2019 season. A notable returning starter is junior Juliann Smith, who put up consistent numbers last season.

“Returning as much as we can always is a help,” Smith said. “We have a lot of new young talent and we have some old talent, so a good mix is always good. And if we play together, that is what we want.”

Last year, the team collected a handful of wins on the season, but coach Jackie Fore is confident in her team’s abilities coming into the season.

She credits this confidence to the players’ knowledge of the game and exceptional work ethic.

“They are a little bit more focused as to trying to win and focus each and every practice to get better and improve,” Fore said.

She also notes that the team has adopted the motto “Together We Rise” as its motivation for the season.

“We are trying to rise every day, we are trying to rise every week, every game, trying to focus on just the little things so that we slowly progress,” Fore added.

The team is fully committed to improving in every aspect of the game and is optimistic about what lies ahead for a team that had its bumps and bruises during last year's MEC play.

That experience from last year will play a role in the team as it feels it continues to grow and play better under its second-year coach and former LeBlond player.

“I think we will win a lot more games this season because we’ve gotten a lot more talent and more players,” said sophomore Reese Robertson. “And I feel, like, everybody’s more dedicated and loves the sport more.”

The Eagles will use their hard-working and experienced squad to their advantage as the season progresses in hopes of significantly improving from last year. The team’s ultimate goal is to take advantage of every opportunity and do their best every game.

They'll start the season Friday at the City Jamboree at Civic Arena.

Taylor Steeby can be reached at taylor.steeby@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPSports.