Longtime Teammates: Como-Pickton seniors hope to leave a lasting legacy

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

Feb. 4, 2008 - COMO - After nine years of playing basketball together, the Como-Pickton Lady Eagles would like to be remembered by a famous movie title: The Fantastic Four.

Seniors Mollye Lay, Katie Moss, Rebecca Humphrey and Kaycee Thomas have two games remaining in their senior year, and Moss said playing together has been one of the best memories they could ever have.

"I am going to miss playing with these three girls," Moss said. "This will probably be the toughest thing for me about leaving the game of basketball because we have played together since the third grade."

For first-year coach Regina Sanders, it will be tough to see these four girls leave the program after a hard-fought season.

"These four seniors led the team and were the core of the team this year," said Sanders. "They have done everything we have asked them to do and they are a good bunch of kids. They will be greatly missed when they graduate, and they have beaten Quitman - which they have never done before."

Thomas said the win against Quitman was one of the highlights so far this season for the Lady Eagles because a lot of people thought they could not pull out the win over the Lady Bulldogs.

"A lot of people under-estimated us and a lot of people do that," the senior said. "Sometimes it is OK to be the underdog, and now you see what happens."

Dealing with their second coach in two years after the departure of Devin Gabbard last season, the seniors said adjusting to a new style of play that Sanders brought to the team made the transition easy.

"She is never negative, and she makes sure to be positive to us," said post player Humphrey.

For Lay, the transition has been one that she has opened up to throughout the year, but she said it was hard for her to accept when she first stepped on the basketball court.

"I was really nervous at first, and I did not like the thought of a new coach," she said. "When she got here she was a lot better than any of the previous coaches we have had."

Sanders said having the opportunity to coach these four seniors made her new system easy to implement and the players fit into it perfectly.

"Everything I have done is totally different from last year, and they have done it with no questions asked," the coach said. "I have thrown in some new offenses and defenses and they love the multiple offenses and defenses.

"In terms of the offense, Mollye is our point guard and our defensive guru, while Rebecca is our shooter. Katie plays hard defense, and Kaycee Thomas is another strong defender and comes off the bench playing some good quality minutes."

With the Lady Eagles battling for a third-place finish in District 16-2A and home games against Grand Saline and Winnsboro to wrap up the season, Thomas said fans should be proud of the way the team has played this year.

"We feel like the impact that we have made this year will carry on throughout the other years," she said. "People know that we can do it because we went from the bottom of the bracket to being at the top of the bracket."

For Moss, making the playoffs will be a dream come true in her final season.

"It is something that we have always talked about and wanted to accomplish," the senior said. "This year is the first year that we have a chance to reach that point."

Humphrey said with their final two games at home, she wants other teams to fear coming to the C-P gymnasium, and getting a chance to make the playoffs could put this into motion.

"I want people to know about this school's name and I want people to fear us in the future," she said. "I want to make a name for this school and have the other teams not wanting to play in this gym."

Moss said playing with her fellow seniors has been taught her a lot about herself, and sharing the lifelong bond she has made with Lay, Thomas and Humphrey will be tough to let go of when the season ends.

"All of us have grown up together, and I think that is what helps us a lot is because we have a bond that most teams don't have," Moss said. "We are like sisters and we know how each other thinks."

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