Bring It!

All about the phrase that defined the John Paul II Lady Cardinals' season

John Paul II students

John Paul II Lady Cardinals coach Katie Hensle celebrates with players early on during the TAPPS 5A final against Argyle Liberty Christian at Summit High School in Arlington on March 5. BEN TORRES/Special to The Texas Catholic

By Rebekah Tate

Special to The Texas Catholic

Lady Cardinal basketball fans may have wondered why we broke every huddle with the words "Bring it" and wore T-shirts of all different colors with this same phrase in large print across the back.

What they don't know is that the theme "Bring it" is what made our team successful this year. Workouts began the second day of school and from that point on it was understood that we would "Bring it" everyday to practice because nothing less than 100 percent was going to be accepted.

At the beginning of the season our head coach, Katie Hensle, was out on maternity leave, but we were blessed with an amazing coaching staff that continued to make us "Bring it" everyday. Workouts were rough. We not only worked out in the gym but we also hit the weights and track. Practices were full of blood, sweat, and tears, but those practices prepared us well.

Outside of the gym we really grew as a team. We were led by three amazing seniors who not only guided us with a strong work ethic, but also supported us everyday inside and outside the gym. Team dinners and sleepovers helped us bond and become more like a family.

The greatest thing about our team was that if you needed a shoulder to cry on or a partner to rebound for you in the gym, we were all always there for each other. The closer we got as a team, the better we played. The bonding helped us realize the importance of team before self, which was a major reason for our success.

The season itself was amazing. The feeling in the locker room after beating Bishop Lynch for the first time in Lady Cardinal history was indescribable. Our hard work and this feeling is what helped carry us through the playoffs and brought us to the state tournament.

Being in the state tournament was a very exciting experience. We are blessed to have parents, coaches, and a school who made it a really special time for us through goody bags, home cooked meals, school support at our game, and many other countless things.

We lived by our theme "Bring It" and as the season came to an end we left our hearts on the floor. We had no regrets.

No matter what happened on the court that Saturday night in Mansfield, Texas, we knew we were going to walk back into that locker room and be with the coaches who taught us so much. We would be with the girls who were there when we cried, and there when we laughed. That team would always be our family.

Now as a new season of Lady Cardinal basketball begins, we pray for our seniors as they go off to college. And as we begin working for the next season all we can say is, “Bring it!”

Rebekah Tate is a junior at John Paul II Catholic High School in Plano and member of the girls' varsity basketball team.

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