Welcome Kelci!

June 11, 2009

Most of the 2009-10 team gathered at Coach’s Matt house on June 6 to meet and welcome Kelci Roberts to California.

Kelci comes to us from Caesar Rodney High in Camden, Delaware, and we are very excited to see what she can bring to the program.

Kelci is coming off a senior season where she earned honorable mention all-state honors. She helped lead her team to the semifinals of the state tournament, where the Riders eventually lost to state champion Delcastle 55-46.

The team was excited to meet both Kelci and her sister, Erin, who is stationed at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield. It was a great party with great food, great entertainment (the Lakers and Magic game provided some light trash talking among the players and coaches) and great weather!

The party gave the players a chance to not only meet Kelci, but for some players, it gave them a chance to sit down and talk with their future teammates who they might not have had a chance to talk with at our end of spring meeting.

Team building sessions can happen in the most unique places – like Coach Matt’s backyard or living room!

The coaching staff was very impressed with the camaraderie already on display with this group of players and hope that translates over to a successful season!


Check it out…

June 11, 2009

The 2008-09 highlight film is now available to view. You can click on the “08-09 Highlights” tab atop this blog and watch the film in two pieces.

Also, the June 2009 newsletter is now available for your reading pleasure. It’s jam-packed with information about the summer plans of some of our players, our upcoming camp and much more! Click on the “Newsletter” tab atop this blog and read it for yourself!


Now that’s a party!

June 11, 2009
Welana Toki, an all-state player at Solano in 2006, dressed in traditional Tongan garb for her college graduation celebration.

Welana Toki, an all-state player at Solano in 2006, dressed in traditional Tongan garb for her college graduation celebration.

As coaches we know, even though it isn’t always easy, the results and appreciation of our efforts to guide players will usually come later than sooner. 

Players move on and experience new things and it is always a special time when they contact us to say thank you for helping prepare them to be successful in all that life has to offer.  Saturday, June 6 was one of those special times as several of us in the Solano women’s basketball family were invited to attend Welana Toki’s graduation celebration at the Foley Cultural Center in Vallejo. 

Welana played for us from 2004-2006 and then transferred on full scholarship to Texas A&M University- Kingsville.  Welana will be remembered as one of the best players in Solano history and she was an All Conference performer at Kingsville as well.  Most importantly she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice becoming one of the few members of her family with a college degree.  Hence the celebration!

I was honored to be seated at the head table with her high school coach Ann Talamantes-Ristow and other relatives.  The two words that immediately come to mind in describing the celebration are fantastic and phenomenal. And I don’t know if they even do justice. 

To witness the Tongan culture celebrate such a wonderful occasion was one of the great experiences of my life.  I was blown away when, as one of Welana’s former coaches, I received a separate cake along with blankets and mats as part of the culture’s tradition for such an occasion. 

Several of Welana's former teammates, and former Solano player and assistant coach Nadine Bacal (front in green) celebrated Welana's special night with her.

Several of Welana's former teammates, and former Solano player and assistant coach Nadine Bacal (front in green) celebrated Welana's special night with her.

It was a special day for my family and our program to witness the traditional dancing and gift giving and to be reunited with players from those two years.  A very special day!  Thanks and congratulations again to Welana!

End of spring meeting

June 5, 2009

Our players worked so hard this spring, and made such great improvements in such a short amount of time, I was a little sad to see the spring conditioning season come to an end.

It was fun to see the future sophomores hit the hard wood with such enthusiasm. They provided great leadership to all the girls basketball players who joined us from around the area – middle school players and high school players.

As a coach, I am always excited to see the growth of my players – both on the court and off. We are going to have a great group of sophomore leaders next year who know exactly what they want to accomplish next season.

I know that the girls will continue the momentum and work out and play as much as they can in the next three weeks before we meet again for the summer workouts.

We had our end of spring meeting at the conclusion of our final workout and for the first time, our 2009-10 team came together as one unit. It was a chance to go over my expectations this summer as far as working out, fundraising, getting work done in the classroom, etc.

In the summer, we get together on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a variety of workouts. It’s very important that the players come back in three weeks in great shape mentally and physically and be ready to work out all day. It’s a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work.

The summertime is where championship teams are built. Everything they want to accomplish next year as a team – conference championships, advancing in the playoffs, winning a state championship – starts with the hard work they put in now.

We talked about all the fundraising opportunities available. Each player is responsible for fundraising a specific amount of money through a variety of options. Because we talk to our players about fundraising so early in the season, we give them plenty of time to raise the money necessary to cover the costs of traveling and gear.

The best (and historically, most successful) way for our players to raise money is through our Adopt-A-Player fundraising program. Interested parties can download the information from our website .

The end of spring meeting also gave us a chance to celebrate. We recognized the freshmen, who finished their first year of college; and also handed out congratulations to the seniors in high school (our recruits) who will graduate soon.

We never miss an opportunity to satisfy our sweet tooth so we made sure to celebrate birthdays too!

There was one recruit missing from the meeting, Kelci Roberts. She will be graduating from high school in Delaware on May 30 and making the trip to California the following week to live with her sister. We are very excited to have Kelci join the Solano family and meet all the players and support staff who will become her extended family over the next two years.

It’s a great community that she’s coming in to and we can’t wait for the entire team to come together and get started on another championship season!