Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Suiting up only three seniors, and with four freshmen playing regular minutes, this season the S.I. Varsity Girls Basketball Team underwent somewhat of a youth movement. Yet despite this fact, it was senior stalwart and three year starter Maddie Ennis who powered the Wildcat Girls Team from start to finish. Ennis and her S.I. Varsity Girls teammates enjoyed much success this season posting a 16-11 record, earning a bid as the fourth seed in the C.C.S. Open Division Tournament, and claiming the seventeenth spot in the S.F. Chronicle‘s Top 25 Poll.
Over the course of S.I.’s 27 game schedule, Ennis averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game; she averaged a double double. In sixteen of those games, S.I.’s star forward recorded actual double doubles. During the postseason, she dug down even deeper increasing her average to 20 points and 12 rebounds per game. For her efforts, she received All-W.C.A.L. First Team honors and the S.F. Chronicle named her its Girls Regional Player of the Year for San Francisco.
S.I. Girls Varsity Head Coach Mike Mulkerrins beamed, “Maddie is a tremendous rebounder and competitor. She has one of the best motors of any player I have ever coached.” According to Coach Mulkerrins, in addition to all the accolades, Ennis has received multiple D2 offers and some D1 interest.
Although foremost among them, Maddie Ennis was not the only member of S.I.’s Girls Varsity Basketball Team to be celebrated this season. Rachel Harvey was selected as a member of the All-W.C.A.L. Second Team, and she received an S.F. Chronicle All-Metro Honorable Mention. Both Angie McAdams and Emily Jones were recognized as All-W.C.A.L. Honorable Mentions. Additionally,Coach Mulkerrins chose McAdams as the first ever recipient of his newly created Mind, Body, Skills Award, which acknowledged her outstanding performance in the team’s MAD Training Curriculum.
This was the first year that MAD worked with the S.I. Girls Varsity Basketball Team, and the girls responded well. In addition to the girls’ visibly apparent increase in strength and energy on the court, there were also measurable results. Over the course of the season, 27 games and 64 workouts, the team gained over 2000 lbs. of strength and sustained no significant injuries. Three players re-aggravated pre-existing ankle sprains during the season, but they were able to rehab them and return to action in season.
MAD Strength and Conditioning Coach Ryan Muñoz appreciated how the girls embraced the MAD M.B.S. Curriculum, and how they attacked their training. In addition to M.B.S. Award winner Angie McAdams, Coach Muñoz considered Jackie Acosta, Soon Ja Elzy, Rachel Harvey, and Sabrina Ma as MAD training standouts and as pacesetters for the rest of the team.
Although some players may have shined more than others, Muñoz was impressed with how all the girls performed in the weight room. “The team’s 90% participation rate reflects how seriously the players approached their strength and conditioning. I believe the outstanding work that all the girls put into their training this season has established a phenomenal foundation for the S.I. Girls Varsity Basketball Program for years to come.”
The training system MAD designed for S.I.’s Basketball Programs focuses on basketball specific athletic development. Its main objectives are to reduce injury risk and enhance athletic ability. It focuses on breathing, high performance psychology, and active health care. An important feature of MAD's system is the tracking of objective, measurable results.
MAD works closely with Brett Brungardt’s company Basic Athletic Measurement. https://www.bamtesting.com/ Each year it assists B.A.M. in conducting N.B.A. Combines around the country in preparation for the N.B.A. Draft. MAD is a big proponent of B.A.M.’s motto, “That which can be measured can be improved,” and every week MAD provides players and coaches with progress reports which document each player’s training performance. This enables coaches to fine tune training regimens for each individual athlete, and it allows athletes and coaches to follow the progress of individual athletes as well that of the team's.
In his first year working with MAD, Coach Mulkerrins was so impressed with its training that he created an award based on MAD’s Mind Body Skills Curriculum, the M.B.S. Award, and he has become one of MAD’s biggest believers. ““The value in this program runs much deeper than just getting stronger physically. Murray Athletic Development empowers athletes to reach their full potential by empowering their minds as well as their bodies to operate at peak performance. This philosophy of “Train the way you compete,” and “Make excellence a habit,” carries value not only in the weight room, on the court and in the classroom but in life as well.”
Although Mulkerrins is committed to building a championship program, he sees his primary role as helping his players with their personal development on their way to becoming responsible adults. This mainly consists of establishing good habits: being punctual; following a schedule; keeping commitments; and doing things they may not like doing. This year’s M.B.S. Award winner, Angie McAdams, admitted that although she has never liked the weight room, now she appreciates its value. Over the course of the season, McAdams attended 46 out of 46 training sessions and gained 182 lbs. of strength.
Having the spotlight shining so brightly on Maddie Ennis, though much deserved, runs the risk of obscuring the team’s other accomplishments this year. Coach Mulkerrins agrees with MAD’s Coach Muñoz that this year’s team built a strong foundation, and he believes this was accomplished as much on the court as in the weight room. Sophomore Emily Jones developed into the team’s best defender, and Mulkerrins thinks she is capable of guarding just about anyone. Rachel Harvey and Angie McAdams, both juniors, had outstanding seasons, and they will return next year with their talent and experience to provide the core of the team’s senior leadership. The Fab Frosh Four, Jackie Acosta, Soon Ja Elzy, Mali Ennis, and Sabrina Ma, all played important minutes, and their experiences on the court, on the bench, and in practice will pay big dividends down the line.
Although S.I.’s Varsity Coach will miss seniors Maddie Ennis, Kerry Fitzgerald, and Dara Murphy, he is optimistic about the team’s prospects for the foreseeable future, and he is looking forward to the 2019-2020 season.