(Above) Former Clear Lake principal and coach Mike Barkley shared his experience and words of encouragement with the Lions at their Monday send-off.
Coach Bart Smith thinks his team has had the perfect motto this season— “Be More…”
“We’ve had to be more tough, aggressive, smart and be more resilient throughout the season. We’ve had to be resilient to adversity,” Smith told his girls and large crowd gathered for a State send-off Monday.
In addition to thanking school administrators, students, parents and the community for their support, Smith thanked his team “for not giving up.”
It would have been easy, he said, to get down when key players were sidelined. Instead, the team found a way to win.
And with the odds against them in Des Moines— taking on the state’s leading scorer and her Pocohantus team Tuesday night, Smith said he knows there is still more his players can be.
Former elementary school principal and assistant girls basketball coach Mike Barkley shared a similar message with the team.
“You have to believe,” he told the team. “Find a way to win. It will take all of you, but you can do it.”
Barkley was speaking from experience.
“In 2002— 15 years ago— we (Clear Lake girls) were undefeated and ranked number one. We always won in double figures. On a Friday night we beat Webster City by 25 points. Two days later, in the opening round of the post-season, they beat us. Most wins and rankings doesn’t always matter. That’s why you play. It’s not always experience and talent that wins. It’s heart.”
Barkley encouraged players to work together, know their roles, and hustle.
“Statistically, every turnover is worth one point. Every one of those and every free throw can add up to be the difference. So work hard for every one. You’ll never say after a game that you wished you had done less.”