This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.Article Published January 16, 2020
Libby Cap is stepping it up for the Valley Regional girls’ basketball team this season. Libby, a junior forward, has always taken her defensive duties seriously and been a strong presence in the paint, but this year, she’s taking on a more active role as an offensive player. On a team with no seniors, Libby has also become a vocal leader and is striving to help the Warriors put together a successful campaign.
It’s like second nature for Libby to provide a defensive presence down on the block. Libby has had a knack for impacting games with her defense ever since she first started playing basketball in grade school.
“I’ve always been an aggressive player in the post,” says Libby. “I’ve been that way since I started playing in the 5th grade. That’s how I got the spot. I’m not afraid to push people around if I have to.”
Libby takes a lot of pride in the way she goes about her business at practice. Libby works hard to improve as a player, and she feels grateful to see that work ethic reflected in her teammates.
“I’m proud of how hard I’ve work and invested myself in the sport,” Libby says. “I always put my best effort into everything and, as a team, we all work really well together. We’re well-rounded, which really helps us a lot.”
The Warriors have a young club this winter, and Libby is just one of four upperclass athletes on the roster. Libby knows that she’s being relied upon as a veteran player and is taking on more of a leadership role as a result.
“It’s been nice being one of the four juniors. I can really show my leadership on the team,” says Libby. “We all get along well as friends. We are really close. The juniors all bring different aspects to the team that allow us to be successful.”
While Libby is a natural on defense, she is making it a point to have a bigger influence on both sides of the ball in the current campaign.
“I’m more defense-minded, but this year, I’ve become more of an offensive threat. This year, I’ve become a bit more of a scorer,” Libby says. “I think part of it is the atmosphere this year. I’ve also gotten a lot more opportunities than I have in the past, and I’ve gotten more confident.”
Valley his being led by first-year Head Coach Jaimie Toto this winter. The team is off to a 3-4 start, but has been competitive and still has plenty of room to grow with several young athletes learning on the fly.
“I think in the years past we’ve always been a decent team, but I think this year people saw that we don’t have any seniors and thought we were underdogs,” says Libby. “I think that has pushed us to want to win even more, and it gives us the drive to become one of the better teams in the Shoreline.”
Beyond what the Warriors are able to accomplish in the Shoreline Conference, Libby is always excited to spend time with her teammates, whether that be on the court or just getting a chance to talk to each other during the school day. Libby and her teammates enjoy each others’ company and are invested in seeing each other succeed.
“I think the team is like a second family. We always have so much fun,” says Libby, who is the Student Council vice president at Valley Regional. “We are basketball-minded, but we are all friends and say hi to each other in the halls. So, it’s always nice to come back to a group like that. It makes it nice to play on the court together.”
Coach Toto is enjoying working with Libby this year. Toto says that Libby brings even more to the Warriors than her physical presence on the inside.
“Libby is a junior post player who started the year very strong for us. She’s not afraid to get physical in the paint and do the dirty work,” Toto says. “When I open the gym on off days for players to get shots up, Libby’s always there working on her game and asking questions so she can get better. She has really taken on a leadership role this year, setting the example for younger teammates, analyzing film, and being vocal at practice and in games. She’s the type of player that every coach wants to have on their team. I’m excited to see how she develops as a player over the next two years.”
Libby also plays lacrosse at Valley during the spring. It should come as no surprise that she’s a defender.
“I’m pretty invested in both sports. I’ve been playing lacrosse longer, but I really love both sports,” says Libby, who lives in Essex. “Being a defender has just come naturally to me. Growing up, I’ve just kind of always had the mindset of not letting the other person score. That’s just how I grew up.”
Libby and her Valley girls’ hoops teammates have their sights set on making some noise this season. The Warriors are focused on qualifying for the Shoreline Conference Tournament and getting deep into the bracket.
“It really comes down to our team and our leadership. We have a lot of up-and-coming freshmen, and we can show them how to be on the floor and how to become better players,” Libby says. “We really want to make Shorelines and be Shoreline champs. That’s a big goal for all of us.”