There'll be one animal that's conspicuously absent from the courts of the 1A Caribou Trail League for the coming hoops season.

For the first time to any official recollection since the program's inception, the girls basketball program at Cascade High School didn't have enough Kodiaks turn out in time to field a full varsity squad and schedule.

Cascade Athletic Director, Sam Gilstrap, says the sharp decline in the number of girls with an interest in hitting the hardwoods this winter is a bit puzzling.

"I'm not too sure what happened, other than just a lot of personal decisions not to turn out. Our girls' basketball coach did leave after last season and that probably had something to do with it since I know the relationships that are built between a coach and their players are huge. But we're still rolling. We still have a program going and will play some games this year and reward those girls who did turn out with some competition."

The Kodiaks currently have seven girls on their varsity roster, which Gilstrap says is technically enough for them to proceed with a full schedule of games. However, due to several of those players joining the team after a critical deadline had passed and a lack of mandatory pre-season practices, the team will be forced to play a limited number of games this season.

Despite the setback, Gilstrap says he's optimistic about what the future holds for the program.

"We're looking to the future right now. We're focusing on what we can do to build a basketball future for the Cascade Kodiaks. We're going to get the community behind us and start building our program from the bottom up. I think I'm more excited with what's to come rather than cautious or concerned with what's already happened."

Cascade is still working to finish its abbreviated schedule for the varsity girls' basketball squad of 2022-23.

Gilstrap says girls' hoops is the only program that has seen a drop off in turn outs this school year, and he has no concerns about the school's ability to field a bigger group of players well before future seasons tip off.

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