A special group of seniors will be celebrated on Tuesday night when the Thompson High girls’ volleyball team plays host to Helena.
On Senior Night, Jenni Beth Cox, Katie Carnes, Molly Grice and Jacqueline Tubbs will share the spotlight. Thompson head coach Judy Green calls the four seniors “an incredible group of leaders for our program.”
Green then details why they are such great leaders.
“I believe that they are selfless people,” Green said. “They think about and put the team first almost every single day. Only one of our seniors has played a larger role. Three of our seniors are small role players. They’ve accepted their roles and they have been the best teammates, they’ve been the most coachable and they’ve just really loved representing Thompson.”
That attitude is not only displayed on the days that the Warriors play their matches.
“You can see it how they play, you can see it how they come to practice every day,” Green said. “They’re happy kids. It has made our season so enjoyable to have that type of senior leadership.”
Cox is one of two regular setters for the Warriors. The other three seniors play smaller on-the-floor roles but all four are unquestioned leaders because of their willingness to accept their roles and put the team first.
“I think it’s the key to the difference between being an average team and being a great team,” Green said. “It’s kind of trying to find that magic formula. These seniors accepted their role, but they also kept working to try to improve their role. They wanted to be an impact type player in whatever role they could be for the team.”
Thus far, it’s been a successful season. Playing against stiff competition, the Warriors are 21-11 headed into the final two weeks of the regular season. Green said she’s encouraged with her team as they finish the regular season and prepare for the postseason.
“One of the things that we are learning as a team this year is that every night that we play, we play a team that’s been ranked in the top 10 of the state,” Green said. “How you handle that is you have to grow your emotional maturity and mental toughness and, to know, that some days are going to be your day and some days are not going to be your day. We’ve tried not to make a big deal out of dropping a match to a top 10 team. We just try to go back to practice and try to improve on the things we need to do.”
Green said it’s those things and all the other parts of the journey through the season that will stand out for the seniors.
“Each one of them, this past week, sent me their fondest memory,” Green said. “All four of them said something about being a part of a team, it being bigger than themselves and just having the opportunity to experience success, fun things and travel with their teammates. Those will be the memories that they remember.”