A long journey

A look inside the Girls’ State run

Ashley Johnson, Sports Writer

Becoming a successful team doesn’t just happen. It takes failure, dedication and discipline.
In my experience, it took all those factors and a lot more to get downstate this year. We finished fourth in the IHSA class 4A finals.

To get downstate we won the sectional championship against Lincoln Way East, the regional championship against Marian Catholic, and a super sectional championship against Trinity.

At some points in the season, it felt like we only had ourselves and in the end, that’s all we needed. We faced a lot of adversity making it to state and even more so when we got down there.

Whether it was calls that weren’t going our way or huge fan sections from other schools chanting and screaming at us trying to break our focus.

Now that it’s all said and done, I’m proud of what we accomplished this year, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone other than the girls I’ve learned to love.
Even though we didn’t win it all, we enjoyed the moment and being together for the last time this season.

Going to State has been a dream of mine for a long time and getting there after all that has happened in my four years felt amazing.

I’ve witnessed career threatening injuries to a great player, coaches being let go, a teammate betraying her team, shattered dreams of a ring, a person’s reputation brutally slandered and, worst of all, an opportunity taken away from those who well deserved it.

When we were told that our team was suspended from the playoffs last year, the room became eerie.

Some were silent and others stormed out the room in tears.

Me, on the other hand, I just sat there.

In a split second I saw everything I’ve worked for slip clean out of my grasp. The tears building up in my eyes burned and the look of pure pain on my team mates’ faces was one I’ll never forget.

Despite everything that happened last year, we kept going this year.

We came to school, we did our work and we tried not to show how much it hurt.

Coming off of that experience, this year was about something totally different. It wasn’t just a goal to get downstate, it was a necessity for redemption.

We had to prove to everyone that we weren’t still stuck in last year craziness, that we weren’t still wounded.

And that’s just what we did. We proved to everyone we are one of the best and this year we only scratched the surface.

I’ll be to college next year but I’m confident that in the years to come a state championship is inevitable.