The Lady Vikings Basketball team is poised for another fantastic season, as the team returns a strong core group, and has some talented newcomers. Last year's team had a historic season, going 39-5, winning the first basketball District Championship in school history, and reaching the TAPPS 6A State Championship Game. This year's team looks to build on that success, as they try to become the first Houston area private school girls basketball team, to win a TAPPS State Championship in the largest classification, since 1981. To snap that 39 year streak, the team will lean on their experience and some talented newcomers.
The Lady Vikings are led by junior forward, Jada Malone, who is coming off of a first team all-state season. She eclipsed the 1,000 career point mark last season, while setting numerous school records. "We are returning several players and we are aware of what it takes to make a State Championship run, because we've been there before. We have a few new teammates which makes us better. Every day in practice we work hard in preparation for the season," Malone said.
The Lady Vikings also return three junior guards, Tymberlin Criswell, Aiken Semones, and Karlie Sampson who received All-District honors. Junior Anastacia Yefimenko is moving to the perimeter this year, and will also be a captain. Sophie Maass is moving up from the JV team, and will provide depth for the team. Two of the talented newcomers are sophomore Sydney Ward and freshman RyLee Grays, who provide added skill, athleticism, and length for the Lady Vikings, at 5'11 and 6'3 respectively. Emily Dogbatse is another newcomer and the lone Senior on the team. She will provide more offensive firepower for the team.
If the Lady Vikings reach their potential, it could be a magical season, that might have the team back in Waco with another opportunity to win a State Championship. "For us to win a State Championship, we need to trust the process. Everyone needs to buy into our standards, sacrifice, and give everything that we can so that the team succeeds. We have to play together as a team and work hard for team success, and not focus on individual success," said Anastacia Yefimenko.
Aiken Semones agrees with her teammate's thoughts, "I think we have a ton of potential to be great. We have so many talented basketball players and athletes. It is just a matter of buying into the process and our personalities not getting in the way."
Newcomer Sydney Ward said, "in order to reach our potential, which will ultimately lead to our success, I think that we all have to learn each other's strengths and weaknesses. This information will allow us, as a team, to improve upon our less developed areas and will enable us to become even more elite."
The Lady Vikings begin their season on Saturday, November 2nd, as they take on the #6 team in TAPPS 6A, San Antonio Antonian. The game is at home, in the VAC, and Coach Brotherton is hoping for a great crowd. "Our players have worked really hard and we will be a lot of fun to watch. I hope that our community comes out to support our team. If we continue to attack the process of improving every day, we have a chance to accomplish some special things this season."