Feature Photo By: Salmata Soulemane – Coach LaMonte Weddle rounds up the ladies to end practice. Weddle has been coaching the girls’ basketball team for 4 years. To find out more about the girls’ basketball team click here.
By: Salmata Soulemane, Review Staff
Underrated, motivated, and hungry, some claim the Rangeview Raiders girls’ basketball team is bound to open eyes. Constantly in the shadows of the boys’ team, playing in a gym with empty stands, the ladies undergo a lack of support from the student body.
These ladies have trained hard in order to break the barrier between them and the school. Their motivation is driven by their fight to be at the top. With these things in mind the Lady Rangeview Raiders want to be champions.
The ladies believe they have formed a dedicated, well-rounded team this season — making improvements as a team in order to create a bond that feels more like a family.
The team has developed a new motto in which they live by every day, “In it to WIN IT!!! EDUCATION, FAMILY, BASKETBALL.”
These ladies have gone through rough patches in order to build a strong foundation to be where they are today.
“Attitudes, players playing as individuals and not as a team and people not willing to put in the work necessary to get better,” said Junior T’airra Champliss.
These conflicts are what hurt the team in the past some say, not being as inclusive and trusting one another to make the right decisions for the team.
Senior and co-captain Taelor Jackson says, “[The team] not working together as a team and playing individual ball was what has killed us over the past years,” Jackson says. “The chemistry has always been there no doubt but when we would walk out on that court the chemistry would just disappear. It was just all bad.”
Consequences of such issues during previous season caused the ladies to lose valuable games vs. Northglenn and Thomas Jefferson. This season, these teams were a clear target, and the ladies were able to beat the two teams.
The ladies are said to have done a lot in order to clear their court and be a successful team this year. The lady Raiders are constantly going over plays and video film, and covering scenarios that could happen in games, strengthening themselves while also evaluating their weaknesses and all around having fun.
Varsity Basketball Coach La Monte Weddle started the season with requirements from his senior girls.
“Making sure the seniors do what I want and getting people in a little bit earlier to see what I have just to preparing better,” said Coach Weddle.
Since the team is a bit freshmen heavy with 5, Weddle is reliant on his 4 seniors to pave the way for the younger players to understand how the team will establish its ground this season.
Jackson says, “We hang out a lot outside of practice so that builds our bond tremendously. With Angel and I being the captains of the team for 2 years now, we’ve been able to adapt the ability to read our teammates, know their strengths and their weaknesses.”
According to Maxpreps, the team currently stands at 10-2 overall and 3-0 in their league. The team has made a habit of having a 20-30 point advantage against their contenders. For example: Prairie View (73-47), Northglenn (70-40), Hinkley (71-22), and Thornton (83-41).
Champliss says, “We frequently go over our plays during school or at lunch and we talk through our group chat. During practice, we run through a lot of drills to become comfortable with the concepts we have and the things we need to do both on offense and defense. Lastly, we are starting to talk more to each other and we support one another both on and off the court.”
The team as a whole has expressed the want for a comforting vibe. The team has made it so they will have more confidence in their teammates’ abilities and skill set.
Coach Weddle has made slight changes to his coaching style.
“It’s a no-nonsense type from the standpoint of making sure that the people I have can play,” stated Weddle.
Many say there is definitely a build towards a familial atmosphere as well.
“We’ve gotten rid of a lot of toxic energy and we are learning to work as a team and not as individuals like in the past. We are picking each other up and creating a family where everyone trusts their teammate to do what it takes to win,” says Champliss.
The team has made these changes in order to reach major goals for the season, one is to make it past the 2nd round in the finals. The team has made it close if not to the 2nd round–only once– but their hope are to make it their again.
“We hope to make it to the Sweet 16 as a team. We also hope to expand and grow our sisterhood. My goal is to become a stronger and better captain and teammate for not only the team but for myself. I want to achieve this for personal growth and to gain my team’s trust,” says Jackson.
The team is hoping for the support of the student body and preparing for the strength it takes to be at the top.
The lady Rangeview Raiders have a home game against Prairie View at 7pm, fill up those stands Raiders!