EAST HELENA — As the East Helena Vigilantes prepare for the boys and girls programs' first varsity test, there are a lot of emotions that come with preparing for it.
"It's so exciting like knowing that you're, you're like the start of something great and you're building a great program," said Ella Pickett. "Also so nervous just that like — you've never done this before. So you don't know what's really going to happen. Like you don't know what to do."
However, the East Helena girls feel that despite their youth, years of consistency whether that be from one another as teammates to the coaching staff will prove to be favorable as the Vigilantes get set for the opening tip.
"We've even been with our coach, coach [Carson] Bender since middle school. He's coached us since seventh-grade year," said Belle Surginer. "We've just been on so many bus trips together, we go get dinner sometimes with each other and I think that we just are all friends. We have classes together and so it really brings it onto the basketball court and helps our chemistry on the court as well."
The East Helena girls will play host to the Deer Lodge girls at East Helena High School at 7:30 p.m.
For the East Helena boys, the knowledge that they have a young squad is something they're not shying away from, but they're excited at the opportunity to square off against tougher competition.
"I honestly feel really confident in our team because we have that chemistry we have. We're all really good friends with each other. We have the chemistry on the court, just were all really physical," said Kobe Mergenthaler.
The step up from junior varsity to varsity can prove to be a difficult one for some, and the Vigilantes expect it to be a challenge.
"I think it changes a little bit, kids get a little bit more competitive, physical," said Colter Charlesworth.
As for what to expect from the Vigilantes this year?
"Come watch and you'll see," said Charlesworth.
The East Helena boys will host Deer Lodge at East Helena High School at 6 p.m.