The sports cycle

All things come to an end and the 2013-14 basketball season is no exception to the rule.
Although none of the teams from the readership area got to the Big Dance this year, local coaches shared their thoughts on the close of the season even while already beginning to prepare for next year.
Vicki Homan watched the Houlka Lady Wildcats turn their season around, going without a win through November and December before claiming a berth in the first round of North Half.
“I am so proud of them,” Homan said. “They went from losing and getting frustrated to playing as a team and supporting each other even during their losses. They have been fun to follow, watch and be a part of this year.”
Vardaman’s Deanna Winter put a young Lady Ram squad on the floor this season and watched them grow together into a team that breezed through division play and district tournament.
“Not many people expected us to accomplish what we have this season,” Winter said. “Lost seven (players) from last year’s team and had to have a lot of girls grow up quick. We played majority of tenth graders this year.”
The Lady Rams secured a spot in North Half playoffs but fell at the hands of Coldwater to end their season. Despite a shorter run than she had wanted, coupled with the loss of three senior players this season, Winter is already optimistic about watching her team grow together even more.
“I’m looking forward to the next two years,” Winter said.
The Lady Hilltoppers had a strong start in district play, then struggled toward the end of the season and fell in district tournament. But coach Vernessa Gates understands how seasons work in cycles and is also already concentrating on next year.
“Even thought the Lady Toppers’ dream of making it to the Big House this year was demolished by an improved Kosciusko team, the Lady Toppers will not give up on hope on reaching their goal for next year,” Gates said.
On the boy’s side of the Houston court, the Toppers battled all season, but coach Orlando Randle wishes his senior players well in the future, reminding them that every step they take leads into the future and leaves a remembrance of history for the past.
“I wish them the best of luck as they venture out making their marks on the world,” Randle said. “No matter how small the footprint, it still leaves an imprint on the world.”Randle Homan Winter