It’s not the senior season Ty Stringfield and Skye Buckner dreamed about.
But it’s the only one they have and they are making the most of it.
Engaging and upbeat, and even breaking out in laughter at times, the seniors smile as they reflect on a challenging season for Navarre’s girls basketball team.
Some days are tougher than others, and yet, their attitude leads you to believe they are part of a team that has won 15 games instead of three.
They were on the top of world a year ago, winning 18 games, claiming the first district title in program history and making an appearance in the regional tournament.
This year is drastically different, with the Raiders losing almost 20 games and a district championship out of reach.
Through thick and thin, Stringfield and Buckner, the only two seniors on a young and inexperienced team, have stayed the course.
“It’s definitely humbling,” Buckner said. “To go from being on a team with seven seniors last year to having two, it’s humbling. But I feel blessed to be in this situation. It’s a lot of pressure, but it has definitely helped shape us in a way that will prepare us for the real world.”
Stringfield won’t deny the frustration she has felt at times. In the end, though, it’s a situation she wouldn’t trade away.
“It’s a little frustrating being the only two seniors,” Stringfield said. “But we have come together as a team. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. It may be frustrating, but these girls are a joy to play with.”
Both seniors have every reason not be with the team. They knew going into the year the team was young and nothing would come easy. But they counted on having Jackie Coyne as their coach.
Hired in the summer of 2015, Coyne turned the Raiders into winners. Three weeks into the current season, she stepped down, citing family reasons.
The door was wide open for Stringfield and Buckner to walk through. Some athletes run from adversity. Stringfield and Buckner chose to fight through it.
Read more in the Jan. 26 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.
Check out the complete interview with Ty Stringfield and Skye Buckner right here.