5 "Fresh" Takes What's it like to be the newest member of a nationally-ranked team? One freshman finds out.

Freshman Jade Thomas leans in to hear strategies from coach Kim De Marigny during the super-sectional 53-34 win over Lake Forest on Monday.

By Marc Rizkalla, Westerner reporter

Photos by Amaan Siddiqui, Westerner editor-in-chief

As the undefeated girls basketball team advances to state with a record of 33-0, one player, Jade Thomas, is lucky enough to be a part of this incredible experience as a freshman. Jade began the season with the Freshman A team, where she played as a center. After the regular season came to an end, the varsity coach believed that she would be up for the challenge of practicing with the unstoppable team, who would soon begin their post-season journey. Below are her “Starting 5” takeaways on these past few weeks, during which she has been adapting to the varsity life.

“I was really shocked. I didn’t know I’d be starting to play with varsity so early. Like, I knew it could happen, but I didn’t really know it was going to happen to me. It was just a really big surprise.”

“It’s way more intense and like faster-paced.They have a lot more plays. For the freshman team, you just had a couple of plays, but for varsity, it’s a lot of plays to remember.”

“When I’m playing the game, I don’t really realize that basically most of them are older than me, but then sometimes I sit down and I think about it ‘Wow, these girls are like 17, 16, and I’m only 14.’... It’s kind of like a surprise that I’m playing with all these older girls, but in the game it doesn’t really hinder me.”

“We have practice or a game like every day, even on Sundays, so it’s hard to like sometimes get homework in, but I manage... somehow.”

“I’ve gotten a lot of support from friends and family, and they’re really proud of me. I feel happy...I’m proud of myself too for being able to make it this far so early.”

Making history

The undefeated Lady Warriors dominated Lake Forest to capture the super-sectional title on Monday night. When they face Rockton Hononegah in Friday's 7:15 p.m. state game at Redbird Arena at Illinois State University, it will be coach Kim de Marigny's 100 game as coach of the Warrior team. The Warrior fan bus leaves at 3:30 on Friday.

Created By
Marc Rizkalla


Amaan Siddiqui

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