story by michaela baker and kirsten arnoult
The Dutch Fork girls basketball has gone above and beyond in the rankings throughout the nation. From Maxpreps where they are ranked 102, ESPN where they are ranked 16th*. The rankings vary, head girls basketball coach Faye Norris said.
“It makes me feel good,” junior guard Sydney Shull said. “We have accomplished a lot in the years and it’s great to move up in the rankings”
There are many different sources for rankings so one ranking doesn’t change another.
“Since there are so many ranks it makes you feel good but in order to stay there you have to keep working hard but it does feel good,” Norris said.
As the season goes by, the hard work of the girls starts to show through the amounts of wins they bring in as they try to keep their championship title so it can repeat this year.
“People didn’t think we would win last time [at the championship] but to get it back to back would really be something,” senior guard Rose Robinson.
The practice never stops. It’s a year round commitment.
“We started with the day school ends. We work through June with camps and it’s basically a year commitment, junior guard Haile Campbell said.
“They do a lot of work in the off season, lots of camps, weightlifting and competitions. A lot of the success they see comes from the off season,” Norris said.
Scheduling games can be quite difficult when you have to have a set number of games you have to play in a season. The girls are booked almost every weekend. Traveling was required this season, which wasn’t normal for this team.
“It was hard to fill our schedule. We have trouble being so many places. It’s an abnormal schedule for high school. We’ve been to Tennessee and Florida and hosted a game at the middle school,” Norris said. “The girls had one free weekend in November and one in December and this past weekend was their first free weekend in a while.”
Memories shared between the team members are shared and will be remembered forever. Those who dribble down the court together, stay together.
“The second the buzzer went off [at the championship] we finally realized that we won. It still hasn’t hit us. It was an exciting moment to see that we did it,” Halie said.
Through the years coaches connect with players. Seeing players that have been coached from day one win a championship is something unforgettable.
“Last year was a really good year. Kyla Wigfall and Alaina Coates started with me in the eighth grade and each year they have gotten better and better,” said Norris. “It’s just so many memories.”
When teams see the rankings it makes the team strive for more success.
“It makes us want to work harder to prove we’re not a one championship team and it makes us stronger,” Sydney said.
With the rankings varying and another championship title not guaranteed the team has a lot of hard work and dedication ahead of them. As well as the bond between the team grows along with the success of the team.
“Shows everything in practice, it paid off. We can do anything as long as we work together,” Rose said.