Tough as nails

Sonja Karp, NLJ Sports Editor

What a fun season it has been watching the Lady Dogies make their run for a state title!

When you are a small school, you go through years of ups and downs, and the seniors this year have given us four years of “up”.

They are a dedicated crew of ballers who have committed themselves to the sport of basketball and it has shown from the time they set foot on the hardwood as freshmen. 

They don’t just show up the Monday before Thanksgiving and hang up their shoes after the season ends at the beginning of March. They put in time all year round, and have put in time since they were just wee lasses in elementary school.

They are also tough as nails, as Dogie fans got to witness over the last few weeks of the season and the postseason competition.

Between bouts of strep throat, a touch of the flu, and a variety of injuries that plagued the team, one wouldn’t have blamed them for taking a step back to heal or recover.

But not this crew.

They toughed it out and showed up. Even though fans who are well-acquainted with the players may have caught glimpses of illness or injury, for the average observer, it wasn’t obvious at all when we watched the team play over the last couple of weeks.

In the squad’s last regular season game against Buffalo, Jaylen Ostenson was recovering from being sick and near the end of the game, she was just about as pale as her white jersey, but she still led her team in their 19 point win over the Lady Bison with 21 points.

Hunter McFarland opened up a gash on her cheek early in the second quarter of the semi-final game at Regionals, requiring her to have the wound taped up, but was back on the court in the second half. 

Jayde Harrington (who is a junior, but still tough) was suffering from some back issues heading into Regionals and she got banged up pretty good in the three games that weekend, however, she too played through Regionals and State with no one being the wiser to her pain. 

Shelby Tidyman suffered an injury to her foot in the consolation semifinal matchup at Regionals - the loser out game - but she fought through the pain to finish the game.

I saw her foot the following Tuesday, and it was purple and green from her ankle all the way to her toes, and she headed to the state tournament wearing a boot, but there was nary a limp when she took the court at the tournament.

It didn’t slow her down at all, and the senior played three of the best games of her career despite the fact that she had to feel that pain with every step she took.

To be honest, it’s kind of rare to see that much toughness in this day and age. 

Any one of those injuries or the illnesses that went through the team in the final weeks would have been enough to convince a player to take a break until they felt better, but not these girls.

They were on a mission to bring home a state title, and they were willing to do whatever it took to make it happen.

Though they didn’t quite reach their goal, they did bring home the first ever third place finish at the State Tournament last Saturday which was also the best finish for NHS girls basketball in 42 years. 

They left everything on the court so they can look back at what they accomplished with pride and with no regrets in the years to come.

And they can rest assured that they showed amazing grit and resolve and proved that they are tougher than nails.


News Letter Journal

News Letter Journal
14 W. Main St.
P.O. Box 40
Newcastle, WY 82701
Ph: (307) 746-2777
Fax: (307) 746-2660

Email Us