The Northwest division 1A varsity girl Bears team open its basketball season this year with the goal to make the playoffs, to compete for the conference championship and to improve every game.
This year’s team exemplifies hard-working ethics, strength, quickness and synergy. “Each of the players have competitive natures,” Lady Bear Head Coach Howard Mayo said.
The Bear team continues to growl experience onto this year’s court by returning with eight veteran players that helped to keep the Bears on top during last season’s stiff competition around the league.
“This is a team that will share the ball and make open passes to get better shots for teammates.” A barometer of success in basketball is measuring improvement in every game throughout the season, Mayo said.
Last year, the Lady Bears, who went 23-6 overall, won the conference tournament, finished second in the league, and totaled only one game behind North Surry, who finished first in league play.
They are prepared both in quickness and discipline to meet other heavy competition, such as Bishop McGuinness, who won the state championship for the seventh year in a row, East Surry and Surry Central, said Mayo.
“This group of girls are not afraid of working hard, when they play, they want to compete and like the challenge of playing against good teams,” he added.
Mayo defined what pleased him as a coach. “I am satisfied when players do their best, then the chips will fall where they may. Wins and losses will work out but learning teamwork is an invaluable skill. It teaches kids the importance of working with others.”
He commented on the athleticism of this year’s players. They are cross-trained in different sports and he values the skills honed in them through this, he said. Four of the girls came from volleyball backgrounds, others bring skills from state championship tennis play and track to the court.
Mayo further remarked on the athleticism of the go-to guard Davi Barbour. “She is one of the most well-rounded athletes at the school. She knocks down open shots and is steady on defense. She is dependable and will give everything she has got,” said Mayo.
Mayo coaches with principles of fundamentals in mind, implementing drills in the area of ball handling, defense strategy and shooting. The girls also do circuit weight training for strength and agility.
“They are a multi-faceted group of athletic competitors and they are willing to ask questions and work hard,” Mayo said proudly.
The roster for this year’s Lady Bears varsity team include Dana Brown (#3) forward, Alex Atkins (#4) forward, Ayano Shelton (#24) guard/forward and Symone Simmons (#21) forward. Guards are Kathryn Beasley (#10), Mikalya Seivers (#11), Davi Barbour (#12), Andi Moore (#15), Skyler Flippen (#23), Ayano Shelton (#24), Halee Ratcliff (#25), Jordan Jackson (#32) and Jasmine Varney (#33).
Assistant coaches for the varsity girls Bear team are Wade Hill, Angela Mayfield and Sara Hill.
The Bears will open their season by hosting at home the Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 23 and 24. Elkin, Forbush and Mount Airy will compete.
Reach Tanya Chilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1921.