There is no "I" in team.
There is definitely no "I" in Lady Volunteers.
When it comes to the Starkville Academy Lady Vols, they exhibit the highest level of teamwork that can be witnessed on the basketball court.
The Starkville Academy girls go for their third-consecutive State title this year when they start play at the Mississippi Association of Schools Overall State Tournament today in Clinton on the campus of Mississippi College.
If the Lady Vols can capture the trophy at the end of the week at MC, it will cap quite a run over the last two seasons. Starkville Academy also claimed all three titles in 2012.
The Lady Vols returned several players from last year's team that knew what it was like to achieve such an accomplishment. There's no denying what the experience of having success means in such situations.
Anna Lea Little, Tiffany Huddleston, Sallie Kate Richardson and Nora Kathryn Carroll were all instrumental in SA's progression from trophy to trophy last season. The addition of transfer Maggie Proffitt has really been a nice addition for the Lady Vols.
There has really been no telling from one game to the next who will lead Starkville Academy in scoring.
Proffitt seems to be the most likely to get the most points on any given day, but it's never surprising to see the name of Little, Huddleston, Richardson or Carroll at the top of the scoring column.
It's not just the scoring either for these young ladies.
If you are looking for a player to get a key steal, rebound, assist or take a charge, then there are several Lady Vols up and down the bench that are willing to take that challenge on.
Combine that talent with the great coaching ability that Glenn Schmidt has then it's really not spring to see Starkville Academy wins championships.
With all of the bragging aside, this will not be an easy week for the Lady Vols. The competition increases a notch at the Overall State Tournament because SA will be playing the best of the best.
Bowling Green (La.) School will be a good teams in the Lady Vols side of the bracket, then Madison-Ridgeland Academy, Presbyterian Christian School and Leake Academy will present a tremendous challenge in the championship game. Leake was undefeated until losing to Bowling Green last week.
If Starkville Academy completes the trifecta for the second-straight year, it will certainly be well-deserved.
The way the Lady Vols have gone about winning the last two years should present create a measure of pride for the school and community.
Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.
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