Prep Basketball

Junior class leading Xavier girls' basketball

HS journalism: With no seniors, leadership comes from underclassmen

Xavier's Mary Kate Moeder (30) and Aree Beckman (right) celebrate a basket by Moeder in a win over Waterloo West last Ja
Xavier’s Mary Kate Moeder (30) and Aree Beckman (right) celebrate a basket by Moeder in a win over Waterloo West last January. Moeder and Beckman are two junior leaders on this year’s Saints team. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Stepping up to be a leader could sound like a daunting task for some athletes.

However, some Xavier athletes are taking that task head on.

This year’s Xavier girls’ basketball team does not have any seniors, so the junior class has been working hard to be the example that is set for the younger players.

Junior Mary Kate Moeder is one of those athletes. She is excited to see her class lead this season and next.

“After losing so many amazing seniors last year and not having any this year, we all have realized that we have to step up and pick up where they left off,” Moeder said. “A lot of us have been playing together for a long time and have looked forward to this moment since we were in elementary school.

“We know the importance of our impact on the underclassmen and we are excited and ready to take on this new role.”

Moeder also said the dynamic of the team has been different.

“The last couple of years we have had strong senior leaders, so this year is a bit different not having any,” Moeder said. “Although we do not have any this year, it does not take away from the confidence that I have in my team and what we will accomplish this season.”

This young team hopes its chemistry will show on the court. Junior Aree Beckmann said it is one of the most important keys for this season.

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“We have been working together since we were younger, so the team chemistry we have comes into play when we need it the most,” she said. “That will be a big part of our success.”

This change has been different for everyone., but Coach Tom Lilly said the goals remain the same.

“Seniors view things differently,” Lilly said. “There is always that ‘last go around’ and they have hung in there for four years. They certainly want to go out on top. Leadership can come from anyone though, so I am excited to see how people step up.”

The Saints host Liberty tonight, starting at 7:30 p.m.

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