NORMAN — Southmoore’s road to the state tournament has been a long and arduous one for senior Kayla Tucker. As one of the few members of the SaberCats who has been with the team the last four years, she has seen the program at its lowest.
But as Tucker is on the verge of ending her high school career, she said the turbulent times prepared her to lead a young Sabercats squad to new heights.
“It means it was all worth it to go through those three years and everything that I’ve been through,” Tucker said. “All the hard work we have put in, it just makes it worth it.”
In the three previous seasons, the SaberCats racked up a combined 21-42 record under Mark Harmon and Derek Dorris. But she said the low point came during the middle of her junior season. Even though the team had an 11-12 record, she said the “turmoil” the team endured all but made it a lost year.
The Southmoore transformation started during the offseason when Britney Kannady-Sayes was hired as the team’s new head coach. She was the third coach in four years for Tucker.
But Kannady-Sayes and her staff quickly raised the expectations of the team and helped squash any issues that were carried over from the previous seasons.
“It’s definitely been hard the past three years, and all we’ve been through it,” Tucker said. “But it’s definitely worth it now having coach Sayes here and getting this chance and opportunity to win a state title my senior year. That makes it all worth it.”
Even though she has known Tucker for less than a full year, Kannady-Sayes has marveled at the growth of her top player. From signing a National Letter of Intent to Alabama State to making it to state, she said Tucker deserves it all.