Lady Herders emphasize youth in first week of practice

Harrison Epstein photo
Sophomore Adelaide Williams (from left), senior Mandi Tvedt and sophomore Skylar Harford discuss the team’s five-on-five passing drills during the team’s Dec. 2 practice. The three are expected to play significant roles for the Lady Herders basketball team this season. 

Harrison Epstein

It’s been five years since the Glenrock High School Lady Herders won multiple games in a season. But for this year’s team, that couldn’t be less relevant. They’re focused on this season — everyone from the seniors down believe this is a team with the talent and leadership to thrive.
It’s still early for the team, they only had their fourth practice Dec. 3, but head coach Chris Gray likes what he’s seen so far. One of the first things that jumped out about the group to Gray was their height.
With senior Maddie Aos listed at 5’8,” senior Keely Ottersbach at  5’9” and sophomore Skylar Harford at 5’9,” the Lady Herders have a trio of players with the height to shoot over and around most of their opponents.
Height is special in basketball — there’s an old saying that you can’t teach height — but it’s not the only thing. A majority of the girls that came out for the first practices stand 5’6” or shorter. At 5-feet-6-inches is the team’s third senior, Mandi Tvedt.
Going into her final season on the hardwood, Tvedt is excited for the last year with this team. She’s believes that this team has not only the talent but the chemistry to have a successful year.
“We know how to bring each other up and we know how to talk to each other to get the communication and fundamentals to go through,” Tvedt said.
She’s hoping that she can set an example as a leader for the younger girls and that they can carry the torch of leadership. The younger girls on the team, like Harford, have already shown that they have the skills and energy to keep the team moving forward.
Harford quickly at practice became one of the faces of the next generation of Lady Herders basketball. When the whole group ran full-court sprints, she was the third girl to cross the baseline. The only others in front of her were fellow sophomores Adelaide Williams and Emma Weiser.
Each member of the trio know easily how the others work on the basketball court. They should, they’ve been playing together since the fourth grade.
They also represent Gray’s philosophy that basketball is a three-on-three sport. There’s a guard, a wing and a post. Harford is a natural post and both Williams and Wieser, while lacking typical size for the wing, have the skills to hold down the position. Harford mentioned that she’s hoping to expand her skill set to make plays on the wing.
It’ll take big leaps in performance for the team to improve in just one year, but these underclassmen are playing the long game.
“We’ve been all talking about it, this is our season. We want this. I know deep down that these girls are going to give it their all,” Harford said. “Me, and Adelaide and Emma’s goal is to win State our senior year.”
The season starts for the Lady Herders Dec. 13 at home with the Herder Classic. 


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