In the midst of men’s professional, college and high school basketball, students sometimes overlook 13 gifted athletes who spend countless hours working to excel their own game.
Broughton’s varsity women’s basketball team has seen many changes since coach Mike Loutzenheiser was hired last April, and holds much promise for the future. CTE teacher Melissa Patterson serves as assistant coach.
The Lady Caps are 2-3 and have not yet seen conference play.
Though he is proud of key wins over Cardinal Gibbons and Cary, Loutz is more focused on building a dominant program.
“The players are working really hard but are still inexperienced, young for the most part and still learning my system. I don’t really have expectations in terms of wins and losses; I’m much more focused on us moving in the right direction,” Loutz said.
This year’s team is young, with five sophomores who see substantial court time and only three seniors.
The seniors — Jessica Dixon, Tamia Parent and Marcy Waters — serve as captains and seek to build a strong program for future Broughton athletes.
“It’s a good experience being able to lead a team, especially one so young since we have five sophomores. We can really help them grow and show them how to be leaders for the next two years,” senior Marcy Waters said, “It’s also awesome because Tamia and Jessica are two of my closest friends.”
As part of growing the team, Loutz has implemented several new activities including a program called “CapGrat,” short for “Capital Congrats.”
“After practice we recognize one person that has done something outstanding. It doesn’t have to be basketball related. We do what I call ‘shower them with praise,’ and by the time everyone leaves each girl high-fives or hugs the girl recognized,” Loutz said.
This and other activities such as mandatory study halls before games have significantly improved team chemistry, and it shows on the court. In fact, Loutz encourages students to see for themselves the chemistry and hard work of this year’s team.
“You’ll see 13 girls who give effort. They represent the program in a manner we want them to.”
Players to watch include sophomores Jada Smith and Keonna Jasper, the team’s leading rebounder and three-point shooter, respectively.
Seniors Marcy Waters and Tamia Parent are also a dynamic duo, similar to point guard/shooting guard combo Anne Lassiter Barnes and Cate Brewer on the JV team last year.
Tickets to home games cost $5 per person, and athletic passes are accepted. This year’s schedule can be found on the Broughton athletics website.