How does an athletic team evolve and change from year to year? Some years may be punctuated by victories while others are impacted by searing losses. This can be said for any sport, but it has been especially true of the John Brown University women’s basketball team.
This year the John Brown University Golden Eagles have faced a different kind of season. They won their first win of the season in their Nov. 13th game. It was a game well won with an end score of 71-51 against Crowley’s Ridge.
Jeff Soderquist, head coach of the women’s basketball team, sees a positive turn around for the future of the team: “We have been trying to find our chemistry, and we have had probably one of the hardest non-conference schedules I have ever had. The good news is with this hard schedule, we are finding out right away what we need to do to get better. Each team has its own journey, and this is our journey. They are working hard, and I think you will see a big difference in these next couple of games.”
A lot can be said for the girls’ efforts, and most would agree that the fruits of those efforts will be seen. Athletic teams evolve from year to year depending on the girls who play and where they come from.
Soderquist has had the privilege of seeing this change over 18 seasons of coaching the women’s basketball team. He also had the opportunity to work with the men’s basketball team for six years previous to working with the women’s team.
He also said the same of the women’s basketball team: “I have seen a really big change in the players over the years. The women that play today have gotten so much more athletic and stronger. I do think there are more players today that can do things on the court that you only saw a very few do a year ago.”
Morgan Ankrom, a senior on the basketball team, talked about how the team was impacted by losing seniors like Sierra Shipley, Kami Garrison and Abbie Warren, describing them as great, experienced players who naturally led the team.
She mentioned how every team is different and successful: “I think that people need to know that we will fight and do everything it takes to get better every day. It’s this year’s team, not last year’s team. We will thrive to come together as a family and be successful and have fun in what we do.”