The biggest problem facing the Lady Warriors basketball is numbers, and with only 12 players in the varsity program, it will be a long season for Socorro.

Making things even harder is that first-year coach Amanda Saenz has been met with some resistance as she tries to establish her basketball system. One varsity starter from last year’s District 3-3A squad has elected not to play this season.

Winning last year’s District 3 3A girls basketball title in miracle fashion didn’t add more players to the Lady Warriors’ fold, and first-year coach Amanda Saenz has met some resistance in establishing her program’s direction.

“Our biggest thing this season is resiliency, accountability, and work ethic,” Saenz said. “Accountability is like the biggest thing. I mean, there are consequences for every action that you decide to take. These girls have a hard time with feedback and critique.”

Socorro basketball has a special place in Saenz’s heart because she’s a former Lady Warrior, and while it has been a decade since she walked down the ramp at The Pit, she remembers it like it was yesterday, and it’s something she wants her players to enjoy.

“The girls haven’t had a coach recently that’s truly from Socorro. They haven’t experienced the culture where you show up every single day, even as a freshman on the team, and you’re working your tail off to be on that varsity level,” Saenz said.

Considering the Lady Warriors have had four coaches over the last four years, there’s also a problem with consistency, making it difficult for players to buy into a coach’s culture. Last year, former athletic director Jarrod Storey stepped in when the Lady Warriors lost their coach right before district play started.

“Coaching consistency is a problem because there’s no summer league and spending all of June working on two weeks of fundamentals and two weeks of team camps where you’re traveling,” Saenz said. “We didn’t have wrestling when I was in high school. That’s a big factor. There are many female wrestlers now, which is amazing to see, but it does certainly hurt basketball numbers.”

Right now, for the Lady Warriors to be successful, they will have to become consistent on offense, reduce turnover numbers, and get into the best shape of their athletic careers because Socorro will be physically taxed with seven players.

Socorro learned that anything is possible after last year’s turnaround. The Lady Warriors were 4-17 before ripping through district play with a 5-1 mark and winning the league title.

“I am hoping going into district we do have some consistency because we have a solid seven players that are there every single day for the varsity team,” Saenz said. They are still showing up and wanting that district tournament. That second quarter (against Magdalena) was the best they’ve played if they can consistently play like they did in that second quarter for 85-90% of the game, better things will happen.”

Keeping her players confident will be vital to making it to district play, and the Lady Warriors are a much better team than their 1-9 record indicates. It’s hard to win when Socorro has matched itself against 5A and 4A teams and teams like 3A No. 1 Tohatchi, but it’s excellent preparation for when it’s time to face Hot Springs, Cobre and Hatch Valley.

The Lady Warriors 2023 roster includes Faith Lucero, Adrianna Gutierrez, Jazmine Alvarado, Kaedyn Gonzalez, Jaylin Gonzales, Tamra Fowler and Ariana Crespin.