Prior to last week’s game against North Henderson, the Bears held their senior night, honoring Maeanna Norris, Chloe Medford, Chloe Parris, Carolina Long, Ivey McClure and Haylee Willis for their contributions to the program.
“This group of seniors have been strong leaders,” Shepard said. “They have stepped up their game, played in some tough spots and held their own. They fight back and they’ve showed the young ones how to conduct themselves. That means a lot. This group of seniors is a very, very smart group and they have represented the community, their families and the school very well in their time here. So with them leaving, it’s a sad day. But at the same time, they’re leaving behind a very strong legacy of what to do. That’s part of the job of a leader, to show others how to accomplish goals and how to be successful in the things that they’re doing.”
With the lessons the young players have learned from the seniors, along with the ability to get more playing time through the JV program, Shepard feels his program is in a strong place moving forward.
“They have gotten some real game experience with matches that meant something so we’re not starting from ground zero,” Shepard said. “Every other group we’ve seemed like we’ve started from ground zero. With this new group coming in, the older group has shown them how to win, and then the young group has created their own identity through the JV program and they’re going to be a handful for whoever they play next year, which has got me really excited for the coming years with the young group.”
As Pisgah turns its eyes to the postseason, the Bears want to have as many regional qualifiers as possible, and put up a good showing in both the conference and state tournaments.
“We, right now, have the goal of having several qualifiers for regionals,” Shepard said. “That’s the ultimate goal out of the conference tournament. That’s when the individual stuff starts showing up. And then we will go, after we get through these two games today and tomorrow, that will put us in the state dual team tournament. We will go to the South Fork conference and play the No. 1 seed, at least based off the preliminary brackets released. It’s going to be a good team matchup. … I feel like we can play and compete with anyway. If we can get a first-round win, things will get better for us.”
- This article was written and published before the conference tournament.