Taking over from longtime coach Karen Christian, the defense-minded Noonan knew the first thing he wanted to see when he met with his players recently.
“You have to find kids that want to play,” said Noonan. “And I think that’s my first challenge. I found a lot of girls that want to play at Triton. So I’m finding kids already. We had our first meeting and I brought in the ice cream and they loved it. We started developing the program right there.”
Noonan then named freshman coach Jen Scott as his junior varsity coach and is currently searching for her replacement at the freshman level.
“I’m trying to go at a reasonable pace,” said Noonan. “But I think with the record that they have had, we can improve it if we have some dedicated players, and we do.”
Showing some of that dedication are the 18 girls who played in the Northern Essex Community College Summer League.
“They’re into it,” Noonan said of the summer league. “Most of them have been in the summer league, which is at 9 o’clock at night at Northern Essex sometimes. And you see Pentucket, you see Notre Dame, you see Governor’s over there, Newburyport, Whittier. So they’ve all been in this league.”
Next year’s Vikings will look to feature a mix of young and old talent; and while Noonan is looking forward to working with his upperclassman, he has also discovered the value of his younger potential players.
“We do have a lot of freshmen and sophomores that can play,” said Noonan. “I’ve talked with them and their parents, and they are very enthusiastic about things. They are pretty talented.”
With almost three months to go before the first official practices, Noonan is raring to go.