Starkville Academy's Maridee Higginbotham (11) looks for a passing lane against Winston Academy at the Starkville Sportsplex Friday afternoon. (Photo by Kim Murrell/SDN)
It has been three months since the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers made the incredible run on the basketball court that resulted in three state championships.
After Starkville Academy won the MAIS Class AAA-Division II, Class AAA and Overall State Championships in late February and early March, it has had a short time to celebrate those accomplishments.
Now it's back to work for the Lady Vols.
Starkville Academy coach Glenn Schmidt had her team back in action on Friday, playing twice in the summer basketball league at the Starkville Sportsplex.
The Lady Vols played Winston Academy and Oak Hill Academy on Friday and are scheduled to make the trip to Mississippi College today for a three-team shootout where Scott Central, Northeast Lauderdale and Newton High School are waiting. They also plan to travel to Nettleton and Pontotoc on Mondays and Tuesdays to play against teams like Pontotoc, Oxford and New Site.
Schmidt believes it's important for SA to see as much public school competition as possible in the summer.
"Last year, I thought we had as good a summer as we ever had and being able to play competitive teams," Schmidt said.
Schmidt has noticed the excitement the Lady Vols have to play the game and the numbers have grown with six freshmen coming in and six sophomores getting into the mix.
That gives SA a solid 15 players in a rotation.
The goal for Schmidt is to put each Lady Vol in the best position possible.
Even though SA lost some talented seniors off last year's team, there are four solid returners with All-State credentials in Anna Lea Little, Sallie Kate Richardson, Nora Kathryn Carroll and Tiffany Huddleston.
"We're looking at options and that's what the summer can be for you," Schmidt said. "There's a lot of things we can do with them at their positions and their experience level. We want to let them play and enjoy the summer, have a good time with it and to find out what each player can do for us besides the position she's been playing.
"You've got that group Maridee (Higginbotham), Peyton (Scrivner), Shelby (Marsh), and Lauren Temple that won a championship when they were freshmen and were behind some seniors that played behind starters so I'm looking to see in them play in some serious action."
The Lady Vols also received a boost from gaining transfer Maggie Proffitt from Columbus High School.
"The (the Proffitts) said that Maggie was looking for a school," Schmidt said. "I told her I don't normally recruit and try to go out (to get players), but she said (Maggie) was looking for a place where people were passionate about what they are doing, work hard and have a chance to win.
"She's a very good basketball player and I have known her since she was in the 7th-8th grade at Heritage (Academy). She was a great junior high player and she's a lot like our girls. It means a lot to her and she knows what it takes to win and we're glad to have her."
(Editor's Note: This story is the first in a series updating high school basketball teams participating in the summer league at the Starkville Sportsplex. Other teams will be highlighted throughout the summer.)
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