Trusting in themselves

Eddie Poe photos
Senior Yesi Hermosillo rises for a shot above Riley Shaw during Glenrock’s home matchup against Lusk last Friday. The Lady Herders continue to push themselves both on and off the court as they search for their first win of the season. 

Eddie Poe

As the sounds of boys basketball practice echoed out of the gym Tuesday evening, the Lady Herders begin to file into the weight room. It’s 5:15 p.m. and the boys still have 45 minutes of practice remaining before the girls take the floor.
Once their training is complete in the weight room, the girls make their way out to the main hallway of the school for further work. Jump ropes, sprints, stairs. Gray’s team is battling several bouts of illness, but that hasn’t phased them. They’re ready to get back to work.
From the moment they enter the gym for practice or take the floor for a game, their drive never comes into question. Nor does their will to work for one another, or their heart. The Glenrock Lady Herders are a loyal and passionate basketball team, and they take immense pride in that fact.
On the surface, they’ve won just one game over the last two seasons. But well beneath the frustration and severe cracks in their internal belief system, this year’s group of 17 girls are doing everything within their power to make things right again.
“After each game we always have a team meeting and talk about what we did wrong and how we can improve,” sophomore Abbi Cerny said. “Mentally we get down on ourselves, but next practice we get back up and push ourselves even harder to get better.”
It’s a true testament to their character. Even during moments when self doubt is running high and the score is well out of reach, the Lady Herders know the importance of taking a step back to always remind themselves that they’re in it together.
Their immediate success may not reflect in the win column, but that’s only a small aspect of what head coach Chris Gray preaches to his team.
“My program has never just been based on winning,” Gray said following last Friday’s home loss to Lusk. “It’s based on whether or not the girls have good character on and off the floor, do they do well in the classroom, do they help each other out, do they try to make themselves better. You hope all of those things transfer into wins, but right now it’s just not happening. I know it’s real frustrating for them because they work really hard.”
Whether it means putting in more time in the gym or watching film, Gray feels strongly that he has to work harder in order to achieve success for his players. He embraces that role and wants the world for his team.
“If you talk to any coach, we all love practice because we have total control,” he said. “I have no control in the game. But now we have to take what we do in practice and translate it to the game.”
But as Glenrock knows well enough, that’s easier said than done.
“When we’re down by 20 points in the first half it gets tough for us and we start to get frustrated,” Cerny said. “We really try to work those things out at halftime and come out in the second half a lot stronger.
“A lot of it is probably the pressure that we put on ourselves on the floor just knowing that we haven’t won a game. We try to push ourselves and as we do that we’re making mistakes and then every little mistake we end up getting down on ourselves.”
With each loss, the questions of what they could’ve done differently takes a toll on the Lady Herders. After all, they’re only human.
But if there’s one thing that Gray never has to question, it’s their effort. When they aren’t putting in the time before or after practice to get better, they’re in the gym at 6 a.m. on Monday’s and Wednesday’s trying to rediscover the feeling of victory. They’re trying to rebuild the confidence in themselves that was once there. It’s inevitable that it will return, it’s simply just a matter of time.
“I keep telling them you guys are a good basketball team, but you have to prove it to yourselves,” Gray said. “You have to believe that you’re a good basketball team. That’s the biggest issue – they have to start believing they’re good because they are.”
Gray continued, “My numbers have grown in four years and we haven’t been successful with wins and losses. We’ve got more kids out now. It can’t be because I’m fun,” he joked. “Some of it I think is they want to turn the program around, they want to be a part of that. It’s not what am I going to do for me, it’s what am I going to do for the team? What am I going to do to make this team successful? They do believe that, they truly do.”


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

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