Coach: Mike Fritch, 21st year
Last year: 16-4, NVL tournament and league champions; Class L second round
Losses: Nicole Kozlak, 5-10 F; Megan Calabrese, 5-11 C; Kelly Balnis, 5-5 G; Allie Reardon, 5-5 G.
Returners: Caroline Teti, 5-5 sr. All-Copper Division PG, cpt; Mika Howard, 5-6 sr. G/F, cpt; Olivia Morrison, 5-7 sr. F, cpt; Paige Middleton, 5-6 jr. G; Joann Duman, sr; Brittany Anderson, 5-7 jr. F.
Newcomers: Mia Barbieri, jr; Kendra Covington, jr; Kaitlin Cornish, soph; Shelby Howe, soph; Taylor Howe, jr.
Outlook: Lost scoring, rebounding, senior leaders and bench players to graduation. Blending key returners with very successful JV players has all the earmarks of another successful project for Fritch. The Red Raiders should be fighting for the top again.
Coaches top teams pick: Watertown, Holy Cross, Sacred Heart and Crosby.
Coach: Gerry Hicks, 3rd year back after 11 previously (1991-2002)
Last year: 0-19
Returners: Amanda Root, sr. cpt; Aleigh Valickis, sr. cpt; Bailey Campbell, sr; Sachelly De La Paz, jr.
Newcomers: Ali Brochu, fresh; Grace Valickis, fresh.
Outlook: Many young players, but “we are working hard to be competitive with the rest of the league.”
Coach’s top teams pick: Thomaston, Lewis Mills, with Housatonic challenging
Coach: Frank Hadsell, 3rd year
Last year: 9-11, Class S 2nd round
Returners: Heather Kearns, 5-4 sr. All-BL G; Katie Heacox, 5-7 sr. C; Hailey Nelson, sr. G.
Newcomers: Chelsea Kearns, soph; Hanna McGuire, soph.
Outlook: The Mountaineers have two of the league’s premiere players, which elevates them to contender status in some coaches’ opinions
Coach: Joe Capitai, 3rd year
Last year: 17-6, Berkshire League Tournament Runner-up; Class M second round
Losses: Hope Shevchuk; Cassidy Lockwood
Returners: Teagan Dunn, sr. All-BL C; Lesleigh Carter, sr. F; Natalie Ruel, jr. G; Mikayla Penn, sr.
Outlook: Led by Dunn, with 15 points and 13 rebounds a game, the Spartans will contend for the title.
Coaches top teams pick: Thomaston, Nonnewaug, Terryville, Housatonic
Coach: Jessica Sprague Jenowitz, 3rd year
Last year: 9-11, Class S first round
Losses: Kaylee Cappello, G; Isabelle Binstadt, G; Sierra Markelon, G/F
Returners: Tara Shakley, sr. F; Zoe Welk, jr; Elena Kennedy, soph. F; Sophie MacDonald, soph.
Newcomers: Samantha Foley, fresh; Melissa Brodeur, fresh; Emily Dragan, fresh.
Outlook: Very young, with lots of potential. Coach Zenowitz looks for a steep learning curve.
Coach’s top teams pick: Thomaston, Nonnewaug and Lewis Mills
Coach: Adam Brutting, 2nd year
Last year: 16-4, Class M Quarterfinals (46-43, Weaver OT)
Losses: Maddie Losure, 6-0 C; Katie Burke, 5-9 F; Abby Jones, 5-10;
Returners: Allie Rascounski, 5-2 sr. G; Erin South, 5-4 sr. G; Megan Mitchell, 5-4 sr; Ally Charette, sr; Jess Fengler, 6-0 jr. C; Courtney Carlson, soph.
Team outlook: The Chiefs graduated a tough competitor in Burke, but bring back a cohesive group that promises a strong run for the crown.
Coach: Fred Williams, 36th year.
Last year: 14-6, Class M second round
Losses: Rasa Hamel, 5-8 F; Casey Watson, 5-7 F/G; Emily LeGeyt, 5-7 F/G.
Returners: Liz Newkirk, sr; Kathleen Wysocki, sr; Emma Beltrandi, jr.
Newcomers: Jaiden Dropick, sr; Kelsey Hodgkin, jr; Amanda Soltis, jr; Sam Nelson, sr; Jaclyn Columbie, sr.
Outlook: Coach Williams, the dean of the Berkshire League coaching community, has to fill some key spots, but nobody discounts his teams. The Highlanders were one of just two teams to beat Thomaston last year — twice. The other was Capital Prep in the Class S Championships.
Coach’s top teams pick: Lewis Mills, Thomaston, Nonnewaug, Housatonic
Coach: Karen Puskas, 1st year
Last year: 2-18
Returners: Kelsey Johnson, jr. cpt; Caroline Kelly, soph.
Newcomers: Kaitlyn McGrath, jr. cpt; Sam Moravsky, soph; Sam Patrick, fresh.
Team outlook: A young team with no seniors, new coach Puskas hopes to start the foundation for the next several years, surprising some teams this season.
Coach’s top teams pick: Nonnewaug, Thomaston, Lewis Mills, Northwestern, with Litchfield and Housatonic in the pack.
Coach: Damian Coggshall, 4th year
Last year: 10-10, Class S first round
Losses: Caitlyn Natzke, 5-4 G; Ashley Downey, 5-5 F; Abby Caisse, 5-5 F; Marissa Plikus, 5-4 G
Returners: Olivia Pilarski, sr F; Julia Pilarski, sr. G; Bailey Doran, sr. G
Outlook: The Pilarski twins offer stiff inside and outside threats, but they’ll have to find support.
Coach: Bob McMahon, 11th year
Last year: 20-2, Berkshire League Tournament and league champions; Class S finals
Losses: Maggie Eberhardt, 5-5 G; Sydney Keith, 5-4 G
Returners: Abby Hurlbert, 5-8 All-BL sr. G; Brytnie Thomas, 5-8 sr. F; Morgan Sanson, soph; Gabrielle Hurlbert, soph; Charlotte Eberhardt, soph.
Newcomers: Sarah Guay, 5-5 sr. G; Nicole Schaefter, soph; Morgan Graham, sr.
Outlook: Eberhardt and Keith led the pack last year, but Hurlbert and others were the rocks that helped them go. The Golden Bears will be fine again this year, fighting for the top.
Coach’s top teams pick: Nonnewaug, Lewis Mills, Housatonic and Northwestern.
Coach: Kevin Crowley, 12th year.
Last year: 6-14
Losses: Hannah LaBonne, 5-8 G; Jessica Binkowski, 5-8 G; Jenna Lopardo, 5-10 F/C; Jillian Nichols
Returners: Brooke Neller, 5-6 soph. G; Kristen Kandefer, 5-5 soph. G/F; Alizabeth Stack, 5-11 sr. C; Amber Hine, 5-5 sr. G/F
Newcomer: Emily Kupcho, 5-8 fresh. F/G
Outlook: Four starters graduated, but impressive youth could make this a team of the future.
Coach’s top teams pick: Nonnewaug, Thomaston, Lewis Mills and Housatonic
CONSTITUTION STATE CONFERENCE
Coach: Brian Hurlock, 4th year
Last year: 6-14
Losses: Jenn Hislop, 6-1 F; Konnor Gerbeck, 5-7 G; Emily Benson, 5-10 F.
Returners: Kim Stack 6-0 sr. F, 2nd team All-CSC; Casey Farrington 5-6 jr. G; Mickey Albreada, 5-8 jr. G/F; Brianna Genest, sr. G; Ashley Desrosiers, sr. G.
Outlook: Work in progress toward team cohesiveness and the goal of qualifying for the state tournament.
Coach’s top team pick: Capital Prep (defending Class S State Champion)