For the first time in over 20 years the girls’ team is on top of Federal League

By Chloe Hall, Staff Writer — The girls’ basketball team is not only co-Federal League Champions, but they also earned the No. 1 overall seed in the Division I District Tournament draw. They spent most of the season as one of the top teams in the Federal League. This was the first time in 21 years that they have won the Federal League title.

“It was an unbelievable feeling, no words can really describe it,” senior Maddy Repp said.

The team went 20-2 overall and 9-1 in the Federal League. They beat Hoover two times for the first time in 18 years. The girls also beat Mckinley for the first time in seven years.

“We all worked so hard to beat them and when we finally did it felt so great. It’s something that we’ve been trying to accomplish for the past four years, and I’m so glad that I got to experience it my senior year,” senior forward Shelby Henkel said.

The girls play against boys in practice to get them playing at a faster pace and to become stronger. They have certain goals they try to meet for each drill that keeps them motivated during practice. Repetition of the drills helps the girls develop skills and execute those skills in their games.

“We all have a common goal and that is to keep winning. We practice hard, but when practice is not a good one we are disappointed and have a goal of coming back stronger the next day,” senior Rachel McNew said. “We are never complacent until we can cut down more nets, and this is what fuels us as tournaments approach us.”

More students have been showing up to the games this season than in the past. One student that stands out and has barely missed a game is senior Jason Simon. He brings a lot of other students out to watch. It has caused the games to have the start of a student section, which has been really rare in the past. According to the girls, students coming to support the team is huge to them and shows them that they are cared about and being acknowledged for their hard work.

“I enjoy watching the girls win and I believe that they are the best around. I’ve watched them grow throughout the years, so it is exciting to see them have a successful season,” Simon said. “I also enjoy watching my best friend Maddy get buckets. They are on the road to state.”

The girls first tournament game is at GlenOak at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26 against either Boardman or Marietta. If the team wins then they will advance to the next round of the tournament which is held at Walsh University. Go out and support the girls throughout the tournament to experience their success on their way to the state tournament.

“Our overall goal is to dominate in the district and regional tournament to make it to state,” Repp said.

[Updated Aug. 10, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]