As the days grow shorter and the thermometer continues its journey south, the Greenback girls are savoring the strongest season in recent memory, while already turning their thoughts to next season.
Without much fanfare, the nine JV girls accomplished a feat unknown in the annuals of Pratt High: capturing first place in all seven meets. Under coach Tate Thompson’s leadership, the JV netters included Lizzie Amaro, Ellie Brehm, Hazen Hance, Madi Mayberry, Eadie Monaghan, Taylor Moreland, Delaney Skaggs, Anna Stryker, and Cassie Van Slyke. Rotating through many combinations, the girls always found the winning combination and brought home first place in each outing. With a schedule of three home invitationals and four on-the-road meets, the girls consistently garnered enough points to keep the winner’s plaques coming home.
“It was a fantastic season,” commented coach Larry Kahmeyer. “From day one, the girls impressed us with their talents. The freshman came in with a pretty strong skill set and kept improving all season; the sophomores were very strong and we had about six in contention for varsity spots. They have a nice balance of working hard and having fun and they were a joy to work with. I hope they’ll carry that success and excitement into the summer and continue to work hard. I can already see another dominant season next year! “
While it can’t boast of the perfect season the JV had, the varsity also racked up its best season in recent history.
After some initial battling for varsity spots, the six girls settled in for a great season. Sophomore varsity newcomers Allicia Hall, Elee Hampton, and Jade Hoover joined returning veterans Adele Loomis, Lauren McClain, and Dani Williams.
The girls captured first place as a team at Lyons, Pratt, and Sterling; second at the Central Kansas League tourney; third at Hillsboro and Smoky Valley; and fourth at Maize South. In regional action the team fought hard but saw two-thirds of the girls eliminated from a state appearance.
Singles player Adele Loomis fell a round short, but put together a winning record of 18-14 with almost all of her losses to state qualifiers from 3, 4, or 5A schools. Jade Hoover, in an unprecedented season for a first-year varsity player, racked up a 27-2 record and fell one round short of a state appearance. The doubles team of Allicia Hall and Elee Hampton also enjoyed a winning season at 19-10, but had an unfortunate draw into the regional bracket against the #1 seeds from Collegiate.
Two-time state qualifier Lauren McClain paired up with fellow junior Dani Williams and made the Greenbacks’ best run into post-season. Capturing 3rd at regionals, the girls peaked at the right time to secure a state appearance. With two great wins on Day One at Emporia, the dynamic duo won another round on Monday to capture a coveted KSHSAA medal at 10th. The girls were Pratt’s first state medalists since 2006 and put the exclamation point on a great season.
Page 2 of 2 - In reflecting on the season, Kahmeyer said, “You can’t always judge a season by the wins and losses, but this was a very successful and satisfying season – for both the JV and Varsity. I always share the pain when the girls are eliminated from a state appearance and the joy when they make it, but what I was thrilled to see this year was the support the girls gave to Lauren and Dani even though they weren’t competing. Many of them came to Emporia and I partially credit the great win over McPherson to the other girls cheering them on. We had great parental support, too, and that’s invaluable. I’m already looking forward to next year!”