Before beginning her duties as the softball coach, Academics Plus’ Coach Stephanie Wortham just wrapped up her duties for two other sports.
The girls’ basketball team was eliminated in the second day of districts while a bowler for the girls’ team placed at state.
The Falcons (8-18) lost, 98-57, to Guy Perkins in the second round of the district tournament. Senior Rhianna Mooney paced Academics Plus with 32 points and junior Kellie Hough added 14. While the outcome didn’t turn out the way the Falcons wanted, Wortham was pleased with their performance.
“They probably played the hardest they had all year,” Wortham said. “They had the will to play and the will to win.”
Though they wanted to make it to the regional tournament, Wortham saw improvement from the young team. With only three players graduating, the bulk of the team returns next season. Mooney stepped up and provided the leadership the Falcons were lacking at times. As is typical for a young team, they would take a step forward and then two steps back.
“We played some tough teams, and those are all going to state,” Wortham said. “One night we would play well, and the next night, we would struggle. We made improvement throughout the season, and I saw teamwork that I didn’t see last year. Each year we learn more and get stronger.”
Also the bowling coach, Wortham had a girl finish second in the1A-2A-3A East district tournament and 11th in the 1A-2A-3A state tournament.
Junior Shynia O’Neal, a seasoned bowler, placed in the district and state tournament. Since O’Neal’s parents are bowlers and also run a league, O’Neal gets lots of practice. Paced by O’Neal, the girls’ team was in the top five at districts and advanced to state as a team.
Once the bowling season started, Wortham split her time between the basketball ball program and the bowling team. Everything pretty much worked out except on the day of districts when she had to leave early to go to a basketball game.