Palmetto’s Lady Panthers Win District Championships

Camilla Bondy, Design Editor

At the start of every season, the Lady Panthers condition, watch previous films to learn plays and practice rigorously for two hours every day. This routine happens six days a week, all in hopes of having a successful season. Many of these ladies played throughout elementary and middle school, anticipating what it would be like to play on a winning high school team… This year that dream became a reality. 

The basketball team lacked confidence in the beginning of the season.

“It took time for us to adjust. I didn’t think we would be able to do it,” junior and member of the varsity basketball team Olivia Rapp said. 

Over half the team graduated last year, which was the first time they had made it to districts. They wanted to make it just as far, but without those players, the chances were very slim. To their surprise, three freshmen made varsity, and the season was looking up.

Between the practice and team bonding, basketball coaches Donnie Martin and Kevin Mujica saw the team come together. 

Game one: to their surprise, the winning streak began. However, just like with any new team, every game was not a win. They were good, but they felt the challenges of the previous year. Even when they did not win, they continued to get better as a team. 

“We all respected each others’ strengths and motivated each other through the hard losses,” junior and member of the varsity basketball team Carly Pack said.

With ten wins and nine losses, the Lady Panthers got another shot at districts. They knew it was not going to be easy. During the regular season, the Panthers lost to both South Dade and Ferguson, two of the best teams in the district. They knew they would face them again, but with so much practice and game time, they were mentally and physically ready. 

One week, three games and three wins later, the Lady Panthers won the District Championship  a title Palmetto had not seen in over ten years. The players, coaches, administration and entire student body was elated. 

“Every time I think of how hard we played and that we actually came together and won, I get the best feeling inside. We’re a part of Palmetto history,” Rapp said. “The team feels they could not have done it without Coach Donnie’s guidance and support.  He pushed them to reach their full potential and always believed in their ability. Coach Donnie rotated players so that everyone had an opportunity to be a part of the win.”