When you finish the season 22-3 with a trip to the state tournament and have everyone returning next year but one player, it should be no surprise when some polls have your team listed as the pre-season number one pick for next year. That’s exactly where the STC girls basketball team is now and some of coach Nate Roberts focus at the recent banquet.
“There’s a target on our backs now,” said Roberts. “We won’t be sneaking up on anybody next year. That means we have to work even harder than this year. Do something everyday to improve your basketball skills. Get into the weight room and participate in something year round.”
“I was very proud of these girls this year,” Roberts said.” They really came to understand the art of the role player and how important they were to the success of the team.”
“I really believe we should have beat Ballard,” said assistant coach Larry Rohach. “We were the better team. Next year if you don’t end your season with a victory you will be disappointed.”
Volunteer coach Jake Jacobson has worked with many of the girls on the team longer than anyone else. “We live in a society that expects instant gratification, but these girls understand you have to work for your successes.”
Individual Awards: Madison Baier, All-District first Team, All-Conference First Team, Second Team INA All-State Team, Iowa Girls Coaches Association Second Team All-State Team, Des Moines Register Second Team All-State, Iowa Sports Connection Second Team All-State, KGRN Radio All-Area Team, KCRG Player-Of-The -Week, KCRG All-Area Team; Dia Keahna, Second Team All-District, first Team All-Conference; Kourtne Smith, Second Team All-Conference; Kendra Bradley, Honorable Mention All-Conference; Jade Rohach, Honorable Mention All-Conference.
Team Awards: Cleaning the Glass, Baier; Oil Can, Smith; Eraser, Baier; Trojan Spirit Award, Katelyn Behounek, Taylor Van Dyk, Amelia Hoskey; Most Improved, Kayla Schrader.
Roberts was named Sports Connection 3A Coach of the Year, and Iowa Basketball Coaches Association Class 3A Region 7 Coach of the Year.
Each member of the varsity girls team plus the school received a State tournament commemorative ball from the Farm Bureau, presented by Cindy Richardson.
JV coach Chelsea Ahrens referred to that team as the “forgotten heros.” “These are the girls that busted their butts to help get the varsity girls ready in practice. I hope you all continue to play next year,” Ahrens said. “We need you to participate.”
JV players at the banquet were: Megan Wanatee, Samantha Magpie, Shelby Bradley, Katelyn Behounek, Brooklyn Dvorak and Amelia Hoskey. Hailee Weiss, Trisha Walz and Paige Van Dyk were freshmen players that also saw JV time.
The freshman team, coached by Julie Berger, finished an undefeated season with a record of 13-0. “It was great to be Little Hawkeye Conference Champions our last year in the conference,” said Berger. “Even though most games we only had seven or eight players, they always found a way to win. Beating Pella and Benton twice in the same year was a highlight for me. These girls are very competitive, play with a lot of heart and always play as a unit.”
Freshman girls present at the banquet were: Madison Baack, Regina Balderas, Samantha Holtz, Emily Martin, Taylor Ellenbecker, Sonya Peters, Weiss, Walz and Van Dyk.
“We had two cheer leading squads that cheered at a total of 45 games this year,” said cheer leading coach Kirby Landstrum. “That’s why you sometimes saw different faces at the games. It was a very busy season for them as most of them are involved in other extra-curricular activities along with their academics at the same time.”
Those cheerleaders present at the banquet were: Kelby Baack, Amanda Husak, Jessica Schurr, Alex Walker, Dani Zeman and Jaz Ramacharan.
STC varsity girls basketball coach Nate Roberts talks to the team and parents at the banquet.