Starkville Academy's Sallie Kate Richardson (24), Nora Kathryn Carroll (33) and Anna Lea Little (3) assume defensive position in a recent game. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Starkville Academy girls basketball program experienced a first on Tuesday.
When the Lady Volunteers became ranked in the Clarion Ledger Super 10 girls poll, it was not only the first time SA had become a part of the rankings, but it's also the first time any private school squad has entered the listing.
The Lady Vols, which stand at No. 9, have experienced a tremendous season up to this point and have remained undefeated at 21-0.
"It's special for the youngsters," SA girls basketball coach and athletic director Glenn Schmidt said. "We don't talk about it very much. I'm excited for them."
Schmidt said the recognition is deserved for players like starters Maggie Proffitt, Tiffany Huddleston, Anna Lea Little, Nora Kathryn Carroll and Sallie Kate Richards with a strong bench.
After winning the Class AAA, Division II, Class AAA and Overall State championships last season, the Lady Vols have come back strong.
"The success has carried on from last year, but these kids have really worked hard," Schmidt said. "We've worked hard to provide the opportunities to play better competition. We've intentionally set ourselves up to play some people that would give us the best competition we could get.
"When something like that happens, we don't talk about it and we don't talk about wins and losses. It's all about being No. 1 at the end of the season. We are wanting that to be our recognition. You do have to stop for a minute and say what a compliment to our young girls. It's their hard work that makes that happen and the respect they've earned from other coaches."
Southaven, Bay High, Forest Hill, Horn Lake, Gulfport, Southeast Lauderdale, Meridian and Canton are rated No. 1 through No. 8 in the poll. After SA, Oak Grove rounds out the top 10.
The Lady Vols face a huge challenge to their record and their ranking on Friday when they travel to Hattiesburg to play Presbyterian Christian.
Presbyterian is ranked second, right behind SA, in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA rankings with an 18-1 record.
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