By TONY EIERDAM
SANTO – In the 2011-12 season, the Santo Ladycats fell in the area round to Windthorst, and vowed to be back in the 2012-13 campaign.
The Ladycats, coach by Tony Raffaele, were extremely young and used the loss as experienced gained while also using it for motivation for this season.
Not only did the Ladycats extract revenge by beating Windthorst in the playoffs, but Santo also went an extra round in the playoffs this season and will return plenty of talent for the 2013-14 season, a season that could be special for the Santo ladies.
In fact, it was a great year for all of Santo’s girls’ basketball teams in 2012-13.
All teams either won a district championship or were co-champions.
The seventh grade went 9-4 and were co-district champs; the eighth grade ladies went 12-2 and are undefeated district champs for the second year in a row; the junior varsity finished 19-2 and were undefeated district champs; and varsity went 28-5 and were co-district champions.
“Not too many programs can do that year after year,” Raffelle said.”These kids, and parents, work hard for that every year.
“Work ethic, work ethic, work ethic – that’s still the only way to get ahead.
“I am a pretty intense person and do not apologized for that.
“The kids always say they like it when I get that glassy-eyed look. They tell me it makes them play harder. I know I am not the smartest, but passion and heart can overcome a lot of short comings for anyone who wants it bad enough.”
The varsity Ladycats will return District 11-A Sixth Man of the Year award winner Courtney Flanagan, as well as all-district, first team guards Breeana Raffaele (Tony’s daughter) and Payton Billue.
Second-team choice Taylor Nemeth also will return. All four ladies will be seniors next year, adding to the experience and leadership this team will posses next season.
Tony Raffaele said it will be hard to lose his seniors, particularly District 11-A Most Valuable Player Sarah Van Remmen. He will also lose District 11-A Defensive Player of the Year Alyssa McKennon, and Kristy Trammell, who earned an honorable mention.
“Sarah Van Remmen, Alyssa McKennon and Kristy Trammell will be missed,” Tony Raffaele said. “Their leadership will be sorely missed, and these three are great kids.
“The common thing about these three is that they have great parents, and they were always in it for the team and not just for themselves.”
Tony Raffaele expects his team to work hard in the offseason, knowing what next year can bring to the talented and experienced group.
For the rest of the team, it will be select basketball in the Metroplex and summer shootouts around the area,” he said. “Several will also developing more skills through individual training from former Santo basketball players, their parents and private trainers.
“We must stay ahead of the competition.”
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
The weather wasn't the only thing heating up, Monday afternoon. The Mineral Wells Lady Rams (16-5) were simply on fire in both phases of the game as they crushed the Graham Lady Blues, 10-0, in five innings at Kessler Field.
Protecting their home turf
After finishing the first day of the Mineral Wells Tournament a perfect 3-0, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams (15-4) were back in action Friday with a double-header to close out the home portion of the tourney.
Rams shine at Brock Tournament
BROCK – The Mineral Wells Rams (9-6) had a strong showing at the Brock Tournament, Thursday and Friday, as they continued to lay a firm foundation for the rest of their season.
After over a month of speculation, the Ram faithful have a new leader in which to place their hope.
Friday night, the Mineral Wells ISD Board of Trustees announced their decision to hire Waco Midway's Co-Offensive Coordinator Gerald Perry as the new Athletic Director and head football coach of Mineral Wells High School.
The Mineral Wells Lady Rams (14-3) got everything they hoped for and more in the opening day of the Mineral Wells Tournament, Thursday, at Kessler Field. They swept the competition in a triple-header and dealt with a wide variety of situations, overcoming each.
Gordon, Strawn fill up all-district hoops teams
The All-District 17-1A-II teams for both boys and girls basketball have been announced and rivals Gordon and Strawn have left an indelible mark on the 2013-24 edition with the two schools combining for six players on the boys team and a whopping 11 girls receiving honors.
Lady Rams Softball begins MW Tourney
Hot off of a 5-1 showing at the Wichita Falls Tournament, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team (11-3) will open tournament play against quality competition again today from the comfort of their own home.
Four Ladycats garner top 11-1A-I awards
Palo Pinto County's most successful basketball team of the 2013-14 season can now add a bushel of accolades to an already memorable, Regional Championship year.
MW boys place third, girls seventh at Ram Relays
The Mineral Wells boys and girls track teams were on full display, Saturday, in front of a hometown crowd at the Ram Relays as the varsity girls team took seventh place with 42 point and the varsity boys finished third with 90 points.
State slips away
ABILENE – It wasn't the way a community pictured their season ending.
Fresh off of a thrilling 69-65, double-overtime victory over Ira in the regional semifinals, the Graford Jackrabbits' (27-4) bid for their first trip to the state tournament since 2012 fell short Saturday afternoon with a 58-25 loss at the hands of the Water Valley Wildcats (27-5) in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Finals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
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