PATRICK: Catholic girls in Parkersburg seek to create their own path | News, Sports, Jobs


PARKERSBURG — Regardless of the starts, there are no shoes to fill.

As the reigning Class AA state champions, the Parkersburg Catholic women’s basketball team is about to embark on creating its own identity. Create your own legacy.

A full week after preseason practices, the ‘Crusaderette 10’ hit the reset button, much like PCHS teams of the past who have combined for 10 state titles since the first team was formed there. is 50 years old.

The formula works.

“As special as last year’s team was, it wasn’t just a once-and-done deal,” Marty Vierheller, entering his 17th season as head coach of PCHS women’s basketball and his 29th season overall with the program. “It’s the next team. This year’s team isn’t here to defend anything right now. They are trying to do something special themselves.

Whether it’s the All-State sisters Leslie or Madeline, this year marks the first in six seasons without a Huffman family member in a PCHS uniform. Leslie Ross, who didn’t start as a junior and then became a player last season as a senior, is another player who ended her career in school.

PCHS completed a magical run last season, going 24-0 and avenging a loss to Wyoming East in the championship game. The Crusaderette family savored every moment. That then was, what is now.

“We can’t expect to be another Leslie or Lainie – it has nothing to do with this year,” PCHS junior Mary Tokodi-Ruth firmly stated.0

Tokodi-Ruth is one of six winners from last season.

“We are a different team” Tokodi-Ruth continued. “We have new staff and we will find out who we are. We will work with what we have.

“As for this team, we will find out in our first scrum and our first game.”

Deborah Hardbarger is one of two seniors on the list. From her seventh year when she continually spoke to assistant coach Tom Carr about her anticipation of joining the PCHS family, the women’s basketball program has treated her like family. Her eyes misted up thinking about her last season of high school.

“Parkersburg Catholic has had a great basketball team all these years and they continue to produce the same type of players every year,” Hardbarger said. “They care about family. It’s such a small school – we all hang out together. I feel like we all built families at this school and made some really good friends.

“On the pitch, it doesn’t matter who scores. It’s about whether we can win the game together more than individual stats.

Last season at the Charleston Coliseum, senior Tiana Tauber and juniors Izzy DeAngelo, Akhia Miller and Jocelyn Thorn also got a taste of the State Hall. Todoki-Ruth and Thorn have 6 games of experience playing on the largest high school girl basketball stage in the state of West Virginia.

Four newcomers will be thrown into the fire. Straight from Waterford, junior Morgan Sampson joined the program this summer. The freshman class includes twin sisters Tess and Megan Roedersheimer, as well as Gabriela Bowersock.

Thorn, better known to his teammates as “Saucelyn”, is a 3-point shooting machine. This year, his role will be enhanced by breaking through the defense with dribbling penetration.

In the Coach Vierheller system, a true leader is not necessarily defined. Still, Thorn and Tokodi-Ruth are considered the playmakers.

“During my college years, I played a bit of a point guard, but probably not as much as I will be this year,” Thorn said.

The players are fortunate to have 2010 PCHS graduate Katlyn Richards coaching Vierheller for the second straight season.

Last season, when the roster consisted of nine members, Richards stepped in and laced his shoes as the 10th man for practices.

With encouragement from Leslie Huffman and Lainie Ross, Richards had “10th man” written on his state championship ring. Richards also signed “10th man” on the back of the team’s championship banner.

“This was our 10th women’s basketball championship, so 10 is such a big number here at Parkersburg Catholic,” said Richards.

On the afternoon of February 4, in a home game against Frankfurt, PCHS will honor the school’s first women’s basketball team. At this point, the current team will have a much better idea of ​​what the playoffs have in store.

“I said at practice the other day that Leslie and Lainie didn’t want us to come to practice every day lamenting their graduation,” Vierheller said. “Our goals will always be the same.”

Until then, the Crusaderettes are in the process of creating an identity for themselves and creating their own legacy. Multiple AAAA and AAA class schools are on the schedule, so there is no schedule downgrade.

PCHS welcomes all comers.

As Assistant Coach Carr simply put it, “Don’t judge us in December. Judge us in February.

Contact Kerry Patrick at [email protected]



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