Pictured is Katie Stringer
After losing point guard, Reagan Adams, to an injury within the first two possessions in their meeting with the Paris Jr Lady Eagles, the Waldron Jr Lady Bulldogs knew they were going to have to come together tighter than Velcro straps on a pair of Sketchers if they were going to have a chance at sealing a win. The Jr Lady Bulldogs gave Paris a good game but unfortunately, the Lady Eagles were able to pull ahead for the win 25-16. Waldron’s Emily Powell netted 5 points while Emilee McConnell scored four.
The Jr Lady Bulldogs are now staring an eight-game losing streak in the face after getting punched by Covid’s right hook in the two weeks prior. But where most teams would lose confidence and sink into the quicksand, Waldron continues to prevail. “First we are thankful to have gotten to play,” expressed head coach Tracie Adams. “Second, Covid reared its ugly head on our team more than our share. The Lady Bulldogs opened the season 3-1 playing really good ball…till covid hit”
“This team as a whole have been quarantined the max days 2 times and many individuals have been quarantined 3 and 4 times. It has been difficult to get continuity and stay in playing shape. I’m very proud of the leadership of our ninth graders. They have continued to work hard every day and hold our team together. This is the tightest team I have ever coached. There is zero drama. They love and respect each other, on and off the court. They are true friends. They make my heart smile! When the season began they decided to start a group chat which keeps them connected all day and night. This team is consistently encouraging each other, laughing, and enjoying this journey.”
While it’s not always easy to keep your head held high when faced with a rough season, it sure does make it a whole lot easier when your coach plays a huge part in your support system. “The girls know I care, we work hard and have fun. I have tried to instill this year that a winner isn’t’ a score, it’s who you! Each person on this squad is important. You treat the manager just like your number one player. We have built a bond together as a family team. I think I’m naturally blessed to be a motivator, I want to push the players to get the best from themselves and not to settle for anything but their best.”
“I want these girls to be better people, have a great work ethic, work with others, and against all adversity stand up and respond. I’m not asking to win every game although you will not find anyone on earth more competitive and who wants to win more than me! It’s a beautiful gift and responsibility to coach student-athletes. I truly believe we are helping raise adults, not kids and sports play a vital role in real-life experiences. I lay goals out for these girls and we work toward those every day. We preach ADD VALUE no matter your role.”
With just three games left until District play, the Jr Lady Bulldogs aren’t in the clear yet. The girls still have conference games with Hackett, Cedarville, and Charleston ontop of still not being 100 percent. “We have several starters and players out because of close contact in a class and family testing positive. We will adjust and move on, someone will get their time to shine and add value. We will take these last three games and give it what we have, and at the end of the night, we leave knowing we are winners.”
Two players that remain diligent in their roles as Co-Captians are freshmen Katie Stringer and Reagan Adams. “Stringer moved from a 2 guard to an inside 4 player and really stepped up her game. At 5’4 she is quick to the bucket and a tough rebounder. Katie is a hard worker and loves the game. If the gym is open she is there! She is averaging 10 points, 5 boards, and has taken 8 chargers. Katie has raised her level of play from last year and is a standout for our team!”
“Adams moved from the 4 player inside to our point guard. Reagan averages 5 points per game. She runs our offense and gets the ball up the floor. Reagan has worked hard to change her game and learn the ins and outs of being a point guard. She has taken 5 charges and is a defensive player and rebounder.” Reagan concluded, “Playing for my mom sometimes is hard because she doesn’t cut me any slack at all, but when we go home she is just mom and we talk very little basketball. I know when the pressure is on though, that she is making me into a better player.” The Waldron Jr Lady Bulldogs will next travel to Hackett on Thursday, January 28.
Photo courtesy of Bridget Freeman