Head coach Jet Ailes directs her young Billings Central Rams at practice. (CASEY CONLON / MTN Sports)

BILLINGS – When the Billings Central girls open their season Friday, you won’t recognize many of the faces.

The Lady Rams graduated seven seniors off last year’s team, but there’s no time to dwell in the past.

Five freshmen step into the program, including soccer standouts Zoie Althoff and Morgan Ferestad. Many of their state title-winning teammates populate the roster, including senior Jill Hardenbrook. She and fellow senior Camryn Gunderson are the new team leaders – a role both are still figuring out.

“Well, it’s kinda anxious, scary,” said Hardenbrook, “because everyone’s looking up to us and we have to be role models. But it’s definitely nice cause then we can help people out if we’re making mistakes, or they look up to us if we do good things, and then they can learn from that too.”

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“Jet looks to us for almost everything,” said Gunderson, referencing the faith head coach Jet Ailes has put in the duo. “We have to support the team and make sure to keep a positive attitude while also making sure everyone works hard. We’re basically the leaders of the team and that’s really stressful sometimes to hold all of that on our shoulders.”

But Ailes doesn’t have any other choice.

“Jill and Camryn came back – they had significant minutes last year – but other than that, everybody’s a clean slate,” Ailes said. “They’re all competing for it, they get after it, so anybody can be high scorer on any night and that’s what’s fun.”

The Rams open their season Friday at the Sidney Tip-Off tournament against Glendive.

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