Those are the best two words to describe the season just completed by the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers.
The Lady Vols defeated Presbyterian Christian 54-33 Saturday afternoon at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College to cap a perfect 43-0 season.
On the way to an undefeated record, Starkville Academy captured the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA-Division II, Class AAA and Overall State championships for the second consecutive year.
While reflecting on the Lady Vols and their accomplishment, there was only one other time during my time covering local high school sports in this area to see anything close to it.
The New Hope baseball team finished with the same exact record in 1996 and won the Class 4A State championship.
What makes Starkville Academy's run this season even more impressive is having to grind and win three-straight tournaments and claim three separate State championship trophies.
There was nothing easy about what the Lady Vols did. It takes a tremendous amount of focus, dedication and desire.
As the end of the season neared its conclusion, SA girls coach Glenn Schmidt could tell the pressure of going undefeated and finishing out strong was beginning to show.
"Nobody ever talked about it and never said much," Schmidt said about going 43-0. "I think the beginning of the last couple of games that we had a little tension, did want to go undefeated and win a state championship. They are just kids. They are 15-, 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kids that get nervous and I'm so proud."
Schmidt has a reason to beam with pride.
The SA starting five of Tiffany Huddleston, Anna Lea Little, Maggie Proffitt, Nora Kathryn Carroll and Sallie Kate Richardson were solid all season long. They put in the work during practice at the school and the times they had to work out at the Starkville Sportsplex.
The Lady Vols were rewarded for their attention to detail and playing smart. They were smart enough to listen to Schmidt, someone who deserves to be respected for everything she's done with young people on the basketball court during her career.
Schmidt has won State championships before, but never coached a squad that went undefeated.
"There's nothing like this," Schmidt said.
The entire Starkville Academy nation, and it was out in full force in Clinton Saturday, can take a piece of the success the girls basketball program has provided and share the experience together.
Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.View more articles in: