CEDAR RAPIDS — Eighty-four games. Four-hundred-and-sixty-four days.
That is the time a high school basketball player has to create a lasting legacy in their program.
At Cedar Rapids Xavier, there were six seniors in the girls’ basketball program — Libby Arnold, Caitlynn Daniels, Aubrey Jones, Libbie Malecek, Grace Ries and Sophie Schmit.
This basketball program has given these girls many memories they will never forget.
“My favorite memories have been dancing in the locker room, singing on the bus and making hand shakes with the best teammates I could ask for,” Ries said.
The teammates they had through their time at Xavier will be a key reason why it will be so hard to say goodbye to this program that has given them so much. The Saints lost to Waverly-Shell Rock, 43-26, Feb. 25, ending their season in a Class 4A regional final.
“I will miss my teammates the most next year, but I cannot wait to come back and watch them do big things,” Malecek said.
The seniors have been impacted the most by their teammates and to return the favor. They are now role models for the younger players coming into this program.
“They are so hardworking and passionate. They put so much pride into the sport and our team,” sophomore Mary Kate Moeder said. “I will miss playing with them on the court, but also all of the other memories that are made off the court.”
Not only has this program brought these seniors friendships that will last a lifetime, it also has supplied them with skills that will guide them throughout the future.
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“Basketball has taught me how to work within a team and always fulfill my role to the best of my ability,” Schmit said. “It has taught me how to be a leader for the underclassmen and to always look at the positive side.”
These leadership skills have helped these seniors create their lasting legacy.
“I want to be known for being a really great teammate and person,” Jones said. “Although I might not be the best player on the court, I always try to have a positive attitude and bring energy to the team.”
This program instilled a passion of basketball in these seniors, and also helped them to grow from freshman into people who are ready for the next chapter of their lives.
After these past 84 games and 464 days, the girls’ basketball program will never be the same.