Lady Lions Get Rings

It seems like it’s a been a year since the Lady Lions magical run to the state championship game at the end of February, but in reality, it’s only been a handful of months. A little over a week after their season came to an end the pandemic hit and the team didn’t get to have an end of season banquet. But they finally got the chance to get together again and celebrate their historic season with some rings to commemorate it.

Salem Head Coach Jerry Hickey said it felt good to see his team again after such a long break, and one last time before the seniors go on to their respective colleges. “It was great and such a special group. We still haven’t taken a team picture. I’ve seen Hope, Leah, and Lettie here and there, and I’ve seen the other girls at practice. But to get this group back was good. Those seniors were so special and to see them with their teammates again was great.”

Getting those rings and finally handing them out was a reminder of what a great season they had Hickey added. “It was good to get some closure on the season. It’s tough to say goodbye. It was almost like we got to keep the season rolling. It was good to get some closure and get the rings. As a coach this is a life long goal, and a life long dream. The ring is an arbitrary thing until you know what it means and the work you put in and all those things. I’ll wear mine with pride. There is a lot of blood sweat and tears that went into these rings. The girls played through injury and gave their all every single night.”

Callie Backherms was a starter last season and will be returning for her senior campaign this year. She said putting that ring on was a great feeling. “It felt really good. It was a surreal moment. We got to the game and it’s been so long since then. We finally have them and it just felt so cool to finally put it on.”

Getting that ring has added a little extra motivation to make sure they get a chance at another one Backherms said. “It definitely adds motivation. We are all ready to get back at it as a team. We are going to work even harder to get back to that same point.”

 The Lady Lions have been practicing for the last couple weeks with things gradually opening back up. Hickey said it’s been a change, but this has given them a chance to focus on things they didn’t focus as much on in the past. “It’s been different. There is no contact as of yet. Social distancing in a basketball practice is tough. We are keeping basketballs away from each other. The one positive is that our motion offense is really complex. Normally we try to rush that in real quick so we can get to playing. This year we’ve spent a lot of time on it. So for our freshmen it’s been good. We’ve been able to slow down and really implement our motion. So when we do get to play hopefully we will be further along than normal.” 

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