Lady Spartans are Class AAA champions

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HENRY ORR//USED WITH PERMISSION

Shakira Townsend (12) serves the ball at the district championship against SBA on September 22nd. They won 3 serves out of 5 that day.

MVP of the year, Brooklyn Brunt (11), smiles after seeing her parents in the bleachers, cheering for her. (HENRY ORR//USED WITH PERMISSION)

One of White Station’s biggest rivals, the Germantown Devils, were defeated by Lady Spartans on both the volleyball court and soccer field the first time they faced the Spartans this season. With all the hard work the Spartans displayed during their seasons, both teams earned a spot in the district finals. 

Due to the soccer team’s loss against Germantown last year, players were nervous as they tried not to make the same mistake as last season. 

“I feel like everybody’s nerves were uptight because last year [the team] won the city championship but lost the district one,” Rathsathida Rasasack (11) said. “Everyone was just really quiet, but after the second half, everyone was starting to ease up and felt more uplifted by the fact that we were winning.”  

Some say that storms make trees take deeper roots. The soccer team made a comeback from the previous season and showed the hustle while working together. They defeated Germantown three to zero and are continuing to move on to the city championships.

“We possessed the ball way more than the other team,” Rasasack said. “Every time they had the ball we always wanted it back. Maimuna’s [Kanuteh (11)] shot was really nice. It was a low-hard corner kick and it was unsavable for the goalie [of the other team].” 

This season, the soccer players upped their practice routine with new tactics and drilled down on skills; their hard work paid off. Winning against strong opposing teams, the girls feel rewarded as they have improved over the years. 

“I think this year was better than last just because of our record,” Hannah Meadows (12) said. “This team has cut the gaps between us and the private school teams. We have been able to keep up with them and even win against them, teams such as SBA and St. George’s.” 

Not only did the soccer team demonstrate exceptional skill in this season and in their district game, the girls volleyball team has been equally successful. The team is undefeated in their district and in total  have won 19 games and lost nine games.

At the district championship, the volleyball team had a great connection and kept their energy up, making it possible to defeat the Devils 3-0, winning all sets: 25-12, 25-13, 25-7 . 

“The experience was really nice,” Brooklyn Brunt (11) said. “It was a good fight. It took a lot of practice days with my team, but it [was] worth it, and it was an honorable game to win MVP.” 

Not only have they spent months training after school, but the players have even practiced outside of school to improve their performance and expertise. To prepare for the season, the volleyball team sponsored their own summer camp and left town to train with college teams. With the invitation of Middle Tennessee State University, Spartans conditioned with D1 athletes and took inspiration from them.

“The camp inspired me to continue to push to become a division one player like the girls at MTSU,” Brunt said.   

MVP player Brunt showed her skills to prove that she could become like the players she practiced with over the summer throughout the whole season.

“Practice life for me is mainly just to continue to condition and strengthen my muscles so that I can hit the ball harder and get more reps in,” Brunt said.  

Like any sport, the practice schedules for volleyball and soccer were intense and routine. Players spent hours after school each week practicing together. 

“We had practice at 3 [p.m.] so there wasn’t much of a break after school and practice. I would have time to go home for a little then go straight to practice,” Meadows said. “We do many things such as shooting drills, 1v1s, agility drills and lots of scrimmages.” 

Later on, players found a way to balance out school life with ther journey with soccer. The ‘student’ part in ‘student-athlete’ reminds Spartans to make sure to maintain their grades above average. Simultaneously, players form new friendships at the start of each season.

“Practice was tiring especially after long days at school, but I loved [it] and was glad I got to see my teammates who I didn’t see during school,” Meadows said. 

Like every team sport, team building is key–so the coaches constantly organize new activities for the players to become closer.

“Team bonding activities were definitely the key to keeping us together,” Brunt said. “[It was] mainly playing six on six, or it could be as small as going out to eat as a team because we did that a couple times and it really helped.”  

After spending day and night with each other, the team becomes each player’s second family as they make memories together and sharpen their skills. 

“My best memory is probably the senior night walkout with all the senior girls that I have been playing with for six plus years. It was bittersweet being the senior walking out instead of cheering on with the others,” Meadows said.