Setting up for state

Excitement for strong season combined with concerns for parent


Emily Kruse

The Volleyball team celebrates after scoring a point against Shawnee Mission North on Sept. 11. The Lady Lions won the match two sets to none (25-8, 25-9).

By Daniel Davidson, Sports Editor

After making it to state for the first time in nine years, the Lady Lions are ready to win.

Last year ended in the second match of state, but left the juniors with a new sense of energy for the future. The Lions carry confidence from the fact the varsity team is entirely composed of seniors.

“We’re in a really good place,” senior Sammy Williams said. “Last season we learned what we need to do to be more successful and now we know we have the capability of doing it.”

Another important key to the team’s success this year is years of playing together and close relationships that allow players to communicate better on the court.

“Because there’s so many people on such a small amount of court,” Williams said, “it’s important to know what the person next to you is going to do.”

Although the girls are primed to make a run for a state title this year, one of their biggest fans will not be able to make it.

Sammy William’s mother, Susan, was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer last spring. As her daughter is playing on the court, Susan will be in Kansas City receiving treatment.

According to Sammy’s teammates, the entire Williams’ family are fans of the team and involved with the program.

“They’re just the type of family who’ll say hello to anyone,” senior Baylee Unruh said. “Their grandparents cheer every single girl on the team, even if they don’t know who they are.”

To show their support back to the family, the girls have created wristbands and shirts with “WILLIAMS” on the back.

Although Susan might have to miss the games in person, her husband Michael is making sure she can still watch. The Lions’ games will be live streamed on YouTube for Susan and anyone else to watch.

Energized with the momentum from last year and ready to be cheered on by their biggest fans, the Lady Lions look forward to proving themselves as a competitor once again.

“By other teams, I think we’re looked at like we’re the underdogs,” senior Lauren Maceli said. “This season they’re respecting us more, but we have to keep continuing to prove ourselves.”