Prep Basketball

Libby Arnold, Caitlynn Daniels hope to lead Xavier to girls' state basketball

HS journalism: Senior captains have set big goals

Xavier's Caitlynn Daniels, looking to pass under pressure from Linn-Mar's Molly Chmelicek last year, is a senior captain
Xavier’s Caitlynn Daniels, looking to pass under pressure from Linn-Mar’s Molly Chmelicek last year, is a senior captain on this year’s team. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”

— John C. Maxwell, bestselling author on leadership, said.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Being a senior comes with its own leadership role, but being named captain adds even greater responsibility.

Libby Arnold and Caitlynn Daniels are two of six seniors in the Cedar Rapids Xavier girls’ basketball program — and the team’s captains.

“Being a captain is an honor because my teammates chose me to lead and be their role model throughout the season,” Arnold said.

Daniels and Arnold hope to be positive examples — on and off the court — like past captains they have looked up to.

“My freshman year I looked up to Lauren Cooling because no matter how much playing time she received, she was always positive and inspired those around her,” Daniels said.

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As captains, Arnold and Daniels understand their commitment, motivation and work ethic establishes the standard the rest of the team should follow. They plan to lead the Saints back to the state tournament in their last year in Xavier uniforms.

“It will be bittersweet when it is all over, but for now we still have to put in the work to try and accomplish our goal of winning state,” Daniels said.

This, however, will not be the last year Daniel and Arnold play basketball. Both of signed national letters of intent on Nov. 13 to play basketball at the next level, fulfilling their childhood dreams.

“Ever since I was little I adored college basketball,” Arnold said. “I looked up to Jamie Printy and wanted to be just like her, ever since then, I had my heart set on playing at the next level.”

After much consideration, Arnold will continue her basketball career at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. Daniels will play at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

“I chose UAB because it really felt like family,” Daniels said. “I was not looking for the best basketball team, I was looking for the best fit for me and I felt like I really got that at UAB.”

Although Arnold and Daniels are excited to move on to the next level, their current focus is to step into their leadership roles as captains and lead their team through this season.

“I am so excited for game days with my team and playing in Ron Thillen for one last season,” Arnold said.

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The girls’ basketball team opens the season Friday at home against Cedar Rapids Jefferson. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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