WESTON, Conn. – Dan Rosen won 14 games in his first year as the coach of the Weston High School girls basketball in the 2010-11 season.
Rosen’s objective, however, since he has taken the reins has not been about short-term success. He is more interested in developing a foundation that can sustain over the long haul. Three years into it, Rosen feels the base is starting to solidify.
“We’re getting there,’’ he said after a 48-16 win over Faith Prep on Wednesday, which hiked the Trojans’ record to 4-8 on the season. “I think all the things we’ve been doing with our youth program are starting to take effect. We have seven freshmen that are terrific, and we have a nice sophomore group.”
Sophomore Kristina Caolo and freshman Taylor Kennedy started Wednesday’s game along with seniors Morgan Moubayed, Zoe Zegers and Anna Mahony. Rosen also gave playing time to his entire roster, which is filled with sophomores and freshmen. Caolo, who played in every game last year, is the centerpiece of the future. She scored eight points in the win over Faith Prep. “By the end of her sophomore year, she’ll have 40 games of varsity experience,’’ Rosen said.
But from the outset, Rosen has faced some huge hurdles. Injuries cost some of his best players playing time over the last three years. And it has been a challenge to build interest.
“There has not been a strong tradition on the girls side over 10, 20 or 30 years, like there is on the boys side,’’ he said. “We’re trying to make it, like with the clinic we had on Monday, that this is a cool place to be. We want girls in the fifth and sixth grade to aspire to like our players.”
The school administration, the town and Weston Basketball Association, led by Sean and Carla Welsh, are supporting him as he continues to build. Success has helped, too. Weston has qualified for the state tournament in both of Rosen’s seasons, and he believes the Trojans have a good chance to do so again this year.
“It’s going to take a little longer than I hoped, but that’s OK,’’ said Rosen, who also coaches a seventh-grade girls travel team in Weston. “We had a lot of talent when I came in, and we were able to win games right away. But we knew there were going to be peaks and valleys. We want avoid the valleys, maybe plateau and have the peaks. The goal is to be a solid team when you don’t have great talent and to be really good when you do. I think that’s the goal of all public school teams.”
Most of Rosen’s seeds have been planted. Now he has to wait patiently for the young players to blossom into confident high school athletes.
“The foundation is there, and we’re going to be young for another year or two,’’ he said. “But we’re going to get there.”