New coach seeks to rebuild Pirates

Posted 11/5/09

Scott Silva acknowledges he faces a challenge as he takes over the struggling Englewood High School girls basketball program. However, he said he is …

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New coach seeks to rebuild Pirates


Scott Silva acknowledges he faces a challenge as he takes over the struggling Englewood High School girls basketball program.

However, he said he is optimistic and expects a good turnout. He hopes some success on the court this season will be a plus as he seeks to help rebuild the program.

“I am encouraged that we have about 25 girls sign up to play for the team this year. Most of the girls who signed up have come to many of the open gym session and that is a good start for us,” Silva said as he oversaw an open gym session Nov. 4. “We have some talented players, we expect to have good upper-class leadership plus we have quite a few young players who want to be part of the team. I think we can have a pretty good squad this season, which we hope gets the program on the right track for the future.”

He is taking over a program that has been struggling for several season as the girls basketball teams went through a couple coaching changes, switched coaches in the middle of the 2007-08 season then, because of a lack of eligible players, canceled the last half of last season.

Silva, an Englewood Middle School teacher, brings playing and coaching experience to the coaching post. He played basketball in high school and college then gained coaching experience working with a number of summer basketball camps. He moved to the high school coaching ranks about five years ago when he guided the Pirates freshman boys team for the first of three seasons. Now, he said he is looking forward to running his own program. He said he expects to definitely have a varsity and a freshman team but, if the size of the roster allows it, he will try to also field a junior varsity team.

Silva said he is an up-tempo coach who wants his team to play a fast-paced game.

“Of course, we’ll adapt our style to the talent we have on the team but I prefer us to push the ball up the floor quickly on offense,” he said. “I also would like us to play a pressing, aggressive defensive style that always is looking to force turnovers that will trigger our fast break.”

Silva said he has quite a few freshmen out of the team, including a few girls who could see some varsity playing time during the coming season. The coach credits the increase in ninth grade participation to the introduction of the girls basketball program at Englewood Middle School last year.

“A middle school program is an asset for us. I teach at the middle school and I can talk up that program plus try to keep the players involved in the sport so they come to Englewood High School wanting to play for us,” he said.

April Leal joins fellow seniors Ariel Herrera and Nicole Pollack on this year’s team.

Leal, who missed a lot of basketball because of ankle injuries, said she feels she is healthy again and added that she is eager for the basketball season to begin.

“It feels good to be back on the court again,” she said. “It is exciting that we’ll have quite a few girls out for our team and I think the new coach brings a system that brings a lot of spirit and excitement to the team. I think we’ll do pretty well this season.”

She said she looks forward to the season and brings leadership and the ball-handling skills as one of the team’s guards.

“I like the idea we are planning to play an up-tempo game,” she said. “I am pretty quick so I like that style where we push the ball up the court. I also feel I am quick enough defensively that not many girls will get by me.”


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