For the 2021-22 basketball season, the Lady Pride roster consists of three freshmen: Molly Zuburg, Ellie Cronin, and Kirsten Rivenbark.
The Lady Pride have not had freshmen on varsity since their 2018-19 season. Lola Jacobs, Amani Kearney, and Kyla McGhee, current seniors and captains, were the only freshmen to make the varsity cut.
Making varsity as a freshman is an accomplishment but having playing time on varsity is an even better accomplishment. The starting lineup includes Zuburg and Cronin while Rivenbark is around the first or second substitute.
Let’s meet the new freshmen!
Zuburg is the starting point guard for the Lady Pride. At the beginning of the season, she did not have a spot at tip off. Eventually, she worked her way into the starting lineup and is having an impact for the team.
“It’s really exciting and I love getting to play with all the experienced upperclassmen and some other freshmen as well,” said Zuburg.
According to MaxPreps, Zuburg is averaging 6.8 points a game.
She admits there is some pressure starting at the point guard position, but so far she’s handled it. “I try to keep it light and joke around some and just have fun with it,” said Zuburg.
Like any other player, Zuburg’s goals for the team include winning the new Cap-6 Conference and making it to the playoffs.
As the varsity point guard continues her amazing freshman year, she’s been learning from the upperclassmen as well which helps her become a better player every day.
Getting to travel with the team and going up against tough opponents is her favorite part about playing for the Lady Pride.
Cronin is one of those players who cannot be limited to a position. She plays the forward position as well as the center for the Pride.
Since the beginning of the season, she’s been implemented into the starting lineup. She contributes to the team with her rebounding and defends the post area very well.
Cronin appreciates the family aspect the team brought since the beginning of the season.
“My teammates have been very supportive throughout the season,” said Cronin. “It’s a very inclusive environment and everyone on the team is nice and friendly.”
She believes the inclusive environment makes the games fun for her and relieves some of the pressure off of her. “There’s always pressure, but I know that my teammates have my back,” said Cronin.
She hopes to improve her skills throughout her high school career. But first, she wants to contribute the best she can for the rest of the 2021-22 season.
Rivenbark has a different story. Unfortunately, she suffered an ankle injury at the beginning of the season. Her injury caused her to sit out for three games.
Now that she is back on the court, Rivenbark is adjusting to the team’s system.
“Coming into the team young definitely has some areas where I do get nervous to mess up or just play during games,” said Rivenbark via text message. “At first it was hard to handle because I would be scared when I got put into games,” said Rivenbark. “Now, I got somewhat used to it and my teammates are also very encouraging when I mess up or make a mistake.”
Similar to Cronin, Rivenbark is not limited to a position. She sometimes plays the forward as well as the guard position too. Even though this is her first season, she’s shown she has impressive range.
Rivenbark also agrees with Cronin about the family aspect the varsity team brings. “No matter what grade you are in you’re accepted on the team and welcomed into the ‘family’ environment,” said Rivenbark.
This family environment is Rivenbark’s favorite part about joining the varsity squad.
“You have people show up to your games and cheer you on. And your teammates almost feel [like] family and are always there to help,” said Rivenbark.
Freshmen for the Lady Pride
Despite not playing a middle school season, these three freshmen proved they deserve their varsity spot.
Each and every day they continue to get better in practice which translates to the games.
“Making the varsity basketball team was a huge accomplishment and it has such a great environment,” said Riverbark and all three freshmen agree.
Who knows, maybe these freshmen will become the next captains their senior year. Basically, Lola Jacobs, Amani Kearney, and Kyla McGhee 2.0.
Hi! My name is Kyla, and I am a senior editor for The Mycenaean. I am the secretary for Senior Class Council and also the editor-in-chief for Leesville’s literary magazine