Tharptown looks forward to ‘ultimate test’
By Bart Moss / For the FCT
When Tracey Fretwell first heard Tharptown would be moving up to Class 2A, she said she was a little concerned. Then she remembered the last time this happened to the Wildcats, her volleyball team was put into a manageable three-team area.
This time, however, the Wildcats join a four-team area that includes five-time state champion Addison, along with Sulligent and Winston County.
“To say the stress level has gone up is an understatement,” said Fretwell. “However, this team has surprised me with their no-quit attitude. They see this year as their ultimate test.”
With their backs against the wall, the Lady Wildcats were able to pull off an upset in the area tournament last year and advance to the Super Regionals. Having lost to Belgreen four times during the season, the Wildcats beat the Bulldogs in the area tournament to earn a trip to Huntsville.
“Making it to Super Regionals last year was one of the hardest, most rewarding battles we’ve had,” said Fretwell. “It was very emotional for us. They put in so much time and hard work, and it paid off.”
Tharptown didn’t last long at Super Regionals, losing to eventual state finalist Altamont, but the appearance gave the Wildcats a taste of what it’s like to make it to a bigger stage.
“Once at regionals, the team felt the pressure of the situation and fought as hard as they could,” said Fretwell. “It was sobering but left the girls with a determination to return. We are working harder and are more determined this year to make it back, regardless of the odds.”
One reason for optimism: Tharptown will return four of the six starters who made it to the Super Regionals last year. “Everyone on this team has played for several years,” said Fretwell. “We have experience on our side.”
Seniors Erica Gray, Makensy Hester and Kasey McCormack will lead the team this year. Juniors Brooke Daily, Annslee Bottoms and Adrianna Borden are also returning starters.
Four sophomores – Bailey Nipper, Perla Chavez, Berenice Bahena and Macy Petree – have come on strong in preseason practice and are challenging for starting positions, Fretwell said.
Tharptown will open the season Sept. 4 at Rogers High School. The Wildcats’ first home game will be Sept. 10 against Belgreen.
Meet the Lady Wildcats
THS Volleyball 2018 Schedule
Sept. 4 – at Rogers
Sept. 6 – at Colbert County
Sept. 8 – First Metro Tournament at Muscle Shoals
Sept. 10 – Belgreen
Sept. 11 – Covenant Christian/Sulligent
Sept. 12 – at Hackleburg
Sept. 13 – at Phillips
Sept. 15 – at Belgreen Tournament
Sept. 18 – RA Hubbard/Addison
Sept. 20 – Phillips/Colbert County
Sept. 22 – at Brooks Invitational
Sept. 25 – at Covenant Christian
Sept. 26 – Hackleburg
Sept. 27 – at Belgreen
Sept. 29 – at Cherokee Invitation Tournament
Oct. 2 – Rogers/Colbert Heights/Cherokee
Oct. 4 – Winston County/Addison at Winston County
Oct. 9 – at Colbert Heights
Oct. 18 – at RA Hubbard