Losing record doesn’t leave team without accomplisments

Senior Amari Stafford makes her way down the court in an attempt to score against Wheaton North during a regional match. A loss against the team concluded the girls basketball season.

Photo by Kyle Paup

Senior Amari Stafford makes her way down the court in an attempt to score against Wheaton North during a regional match. A loss against the team concluded the girls basketball season.

By Kyle Paup, Editor In Chief

For the first time in several years, a girls basketball player received All-Conference recognition for her work during a difficult season.

Senior Bria Williams received an All-Conference award in recognition for her efforts during the season.

“We weren’t able to get an All-Conference player in the last couple seasons so I was really happy with her. It’s a credit to her talent and some of the work that she’s put in,” head coach Kim Wallner said. “It was nice that the coaches from the other programs recognized her. A lot of times (their players) were double teaming her and keeping an eye on her. Many times she was going against kids that were bigger than her, and yet she used her speed and her strength to do what she did so it was quite an accomplishment.”

Williams herself was not expecting to receive the award.

“I really didn’t expect it at all. I just worked hard at my game every day so I guess you could say that it payed off,” Williams said.

Williams, who started playing basketball in sixth grade and played for the high school team since freshman year, believes that her ability to rebound the ball and her strength as a whole contributed to her receiving the honor.

When asked how it felt to receive this recognition, Williams responded that the award is more important for the younger team members.

“I guess you could say that the lower level kids can see that hard work will get you to great things,” Williams said. “So hopefully they can take that and look at me as like a role model.”

Growing throughout the season was a team goal.

“I thought our team got better in all areas. It still didn’t always convert into victories so I think there was some disappointment and some wishing we could have won a few more games, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort and attitude,” Wallner said. “We lost a few that I would have liked to win, but we were competitive in some that I didn’t know that we would have been competitive in.”

A majority of the team consisted of younger players, some of which who did not have any experience on the varsity level.

“I had four sophomores and four juniors so they’re pretty young. Some of the juniors weren’t up (to varsity) as sophomores, so it was their first experience on the varsity level,” Wallner said. “I hope that they all want to start working right from the start.”

In an effort to show their work ethic before the next season starts, much work is planned to go into post-season practice.

“We’re trying to get as many games in the summer (as we can) and some of them are trying to play some extra basketball in the spring now and at least go get some extra skill work in, so we’re starting to play a lot,” Wallner said.

While the season’s record was not quite up to expectations with only three wins, this did not prevent players from enjoying their time on the team.

“I think if you talked to any of the kids, they had a lot of fun. As the season went on I think they got to know each other a little better and they enjoyed being around each other. I look at the young kids that aren’t seniors and I think every one of them learned a lot going into the future of maybe what they need to work on for us to have a little bit more success,” Wallner said.

According to Wallner, with the relationships formed between players there was no giving up even though the record was not ideal. Many players were still sad after the season was over, which Wallner believes speaks to the character of her team.

Wallner also commended five senior players who stuck with the sport through their high school career.

“I’m really happy that they made it through the program and I appreciate everything they did to help, not just for this year but even the guidance and leadership they brought to teach some of the younger kids that we have, because we had a pretty young team,” Wallner said.