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Photo from San Marcos Daily Record.
By VYPE Media's Olivia Jones.
After an exciting and productive career at Kyle Lehman High School, junior basketball player Kayla Presley transferred to nearby San Marcos High School and is ready to play the 2019-2020 season there.
"Receiving the award sophomore year made me realize that hard work does pay off," said Presley, an athlete who's coming off back-to-back seasons with a UIL 25-6A first-team all-district honor.
Playing on a new team after two seasons at Kyle Lehman can be a daunting task, but Presley is excited and ready for what's ahead.
"Coach [Brad] Taylor taught us that we are more than just teammates [and] we're family," she said of the bond that she had with her former coach and team.
Presley cherishes her time with Kyle Lehman and plans to have a similar experience this season. She's been playing with many of her San Marcos teammates since she was a child, so she believes they have "chemistry and just need to yield the reaction to create a product."
By product, she means playoffs. When asked about her expectations for this season, she is confident that her team will make the postseason by taking it one game at a time.
She credits her academic success to her chemistry teachers, Ms. Pope and Mrs. Englehardt, for pushing her to be the best student she can be in school, and is also excited for this basketball season and her team being coached by Veronda Kendall, who she calls Coach K Swizzle.
The Lady Rattlers will definitely be a team to watch this season, as Presley adjusts to her new role with them and works towards earning her third straight first-team all-district honor. This time, it would be in her new UIL 26-6A home.
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Photo by Smithson Valley yearbook committee member Joseph Romano.
By VYPE Media's Amanda Lattimer
For Anika McGarity, basketball has always come naturally, and her passion for the sport has grown stronger over the years. That paid off during the 2018-2019 season when she set the Smithson Valley school record for most three-pointers made in a single season (76) and was named to the UIL 6A all-Region IV team.
But, she had to overcome a big hurdle to get to that point. She sat out for almost 15 months due to two ACL tears, which affected her confidence in the sport and made her start to question her basketball calling. Going through recovery was a scary thing and McGarity constantly wondered if she would ever get to play the only sport she loved again.
McGarity explained that going through an ACL tear takes a toll on you mentally, and sitting out while watching every other player improve game by game was frustrating. However, McGarity found a way to play the sport again and continues to use her own experiences as a lesson and advice for teammates going through the same struggles.
"Your mind and your body aren't going to be on the same page for a while, so just relax and keep in mind that everybody's rehab process is different," said McGarity. "Stay mentally strong because that's the hardest part. You have to take it one day at a time…and, when you comeback after you put in all that work and time, it's going to be worth it."
McGarity is excited to continue her basketball career next season at College of Charleston in South Carolina, but has mixed emotions about the 2019-2020 campaign because it's her last high school basketball season. Due to the injuries McGarity's had to face, her high school career felt shorter.
"I'm just going to take every game and treasure it for as long as it lasts because it is going to be my last year," said McGarity. "I'm so glad that I got to grow with this group of girls because I love my teammates so much."
The most rewarding thing when playing in a game is the amount of practice that goes into it. McGarity loves the feeling of applying skills and plays performed in practice and leaving it all out there during the real game and seeing success.
"The glamorous results and the glamorous rewards and achievements come from not-so glamorous preparation," she said.