The student news site of Warsaw High School

The Wildcat

The student news site of Warsaw High School

The Wildcat

The student news site of Warsaw High School

The Wildcat

Players’ support, determination result in team record improvement

Senior Rachel Henderson plays defense against the Butler Bears on Feb. 9. The Courtwarming game was a hard fought nail-biter with a 49-54 loss for the Wildcats.

There have been many improvements on the girls’ basketball team this season and those improvements go beyond more wins. 

   “I think that this year we have improved in so many aspects. For example, I believe we are much more determined and have a better mind set this year. When we have a game that doesn’t go how we wished, we don’t let it get us down. We get right back up and focus on the next one and a better outcome. I also think the young talent we have has made a major impact,” senior post Rachel Henderson said. 

    This season’s record 8-13 at the start of February and W’s are up this year compared to previous years. 

   We constantly work on improving our passing game, which has been our weakest link. There is a lot going on and competition tries to put the most amount of pressure that they can… daily we run our offense, so we can do a better job of handling the opposition’s pressure. Hats off to the underclassmen… they help the older girls with the effort they put out daily,” head coach Matt Henderson said. 

Story continues below advertisement

   Coach Henderson is pleased with the support he sees teammates giving each other. 

   The seniors in this group are very good leaders. The other night, Tanna Howe scored 28 points, and I believe Drake and Henderson were more excited than Tanna. To me that is an example of “ultimate teammates”. Competitiveness is a very good thing for teammates to have, it will push the level of success the team will have. I have never seen the amount of pride and excitement that those two had for a teammate… ever! I hope the younger ones remember that in the future, and encourage each other throughout their high school careers. Basketball is a team sport… it takes a team to have the SUCCESS that I’m looking for them to have,” Coach Henderson said. 

     Though there may be some challenges with playing basketball, the environment of it can override that. 

   “Best aspects are feeling confident in the team you’re with everyday. Support from teammates and coaches mean more to me than a win or loss,” junior guard Angela Konopasek said. 

    Sophomore guard Jessie Bilderback has a deep love for the sport and refuses to give up on it.  

   “I fell in love with it at the age of four years old and never looked back, and I am a shooting guard/point guard,” sophomore Jessie Bilderback said. 

   She also recognizes the progress the team has made this season.

   “We have already beaten last year’s record, we won the first round in the Osceola tournament which hasn’t been done in a long time!” Jessie Bilderback said.

      Many on the team this year are very grateful for the amount of team support.

   “While playing basketball, I feel a lot of different emotions. This can range from stress, frustration, disappointment, joy, happiness, and more. These all occur in about every game, for their own reasons. But what makes it unique, is whenever I am upset because I make a mistake, or disappointed because I miss a shot, I have those teammates who can bring the joy and happiness. And that is what is so special about this year’s group of girls, we are extremely supportive and caring for one another,” Rachel Henderson said. 

    Some players have set high goals of how far they want to go in basketball. 

  “I would like to play college basketball, preferably at Mizzou, but at this level I want to become a full time varsity player and maybe even break some school records,” freshman post Jenna Gerken said. 

     With being an athlete, there comes challenges to overcome. 

   “I think the challenges you face as a basketball player, obviously, are the physical challenges. Soreness, pain, discomfort, bruises, all that stuff. But we don’t talk about the mental challenges. The mental exhaustion, the bringing yourself down, the pressure, the stress. Everything adds up very quickly, that’s why it’s so crucial you have support from the people you surround yourself with,” Rachel Henderson said. 

     Players recognize that it is important to learn how to balance and maintain being a student athlete.

   “I balance out my life best with a routine and almost a list of most important to less. I like a set routine because it assures me that I get everything done fast and efficiently. When it’s basketball season, I put a lot of my focus towards that. I make sure to take off work during shootouts, scrimmages, etc. Even though basketball is extremely important to me, I still make sure and respect and maintain my life outside of basketball. Spending time with friends and family, doing hobbies I enjoy, all the things,” Rachel Henderson said. 

         Coach Henderson is proud of how this year’s team made such a turnaround of the program and hopes to keep making that progress.

    I would like to get to double digits in the “W” column. I would like to see this team make a postseason run that hasn’t been done for over a decade. I had a meeting with the seniors a while back,  and I challenged them to be the group that made the ‘change’ of the Warsaw Girls Basketball Program. Plainly stated, they could be the seniors that were the last group of the teams that lost most of their games OR they could be the first seniors of the program that was setting new standards, and breaking down barriers that have been around for way too long! Last year, getting to the second round of districts, this year already hitting the 14 year record with more wins obtainable, possibly finishing second in our conference, and having a good enough record to get a bye in the first round of districts this year, I would most definitely say these seniors are the first year of the ‘turnaround’ for Warsaw Girls Basketball,” Matt Henderson said. 


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Abbey Wilson
Abbey Wilson, Staff Writer
Abbey Wilson is a sophomore at Warsaw High school and this is her first year being a part of the Wildcat newspaper. This year on newspaper staff, she will write about events going on at WHS. Wilson is involved in cross country, track, soccer, FFA and FCCLA. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, playing sports, traveling and watching Netflix. What she loves doing the most is being a big sister to her four siblings. After high school, Wilson hopes to go to the University of Central Missouri and major in Criminal Justice. This year her goal is to learn a lot and to have a great first year on the newspaper staff. Go Cats!!
Tanna Howe
Tanna Howe, Managing Editor - The Wildcat
This is Tanna Howe's second year with the WHS Wildcat News Staff. Howe is a sophomore, while being involved in volleyball, basketball, softball, and pep club for the 2023-2024 school year. For this year's Newspaper staff, she is the Print Managing Editor. In her free time, she enjoys playing on her travel softball team, traveling coast to coast with softball tournaments, and hanging out with friends and family, while maintaining her relationship with God. After high school, Howe plans to attend a Division 1 college on a softball scholarship. Tanna hopes for a great second year of writing for the WHS Wildcat newspaper staff. Go Cats! 
Ashlynn Adams
Ashlynn Adams, Yearbook Editor
Junior Ashlynn Adams is rejoining the yearbook staff for her second year as editor-in-chief. She is excited to share students' stories and capture memories for her peers to look back on. In addition to being involved in yearbook, she is also involved in math club. In her free time, Adams likes to spend time with her friends and family, watch movies and shows, and play and snuggle with her dog. After high school she plans to attend college and then pursue medical school.

Comments (0)

All The Wildcat Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *