Fans are encouraged to pack Warren Gym tonight and bring a broom as the Brownwood Lady Lions attempt to sweep District 2-3A and capture an outright district championship against the Sweetwater Mustangs on Senior Night.
The Lady Lions have requested that fans attending the game bring brooms as the bid for a 10-0 district run begins at 6 p.m. The first 30 Brownwood fans to arrive at Warren Gym will be presented a complimentary broom.
Prior to the showdown between Brownwood (27-8, 9-0) and Sweetwater (32-7, 8-1) - the only team in 2-3A the Lady Lions haven’t defeated in straight sets - the six senior members of the squad - Moochie Galloway, Jalisa Hall, Shalisa Hall,
Stephanie Jordy, Jessica Seaton and Alex Williams - will be recognized and honored for their contributions.
The Lady Lions carry an 11-game win streak into tonight’s contest as their last loss occurred Sept. 9 at defending 4A state champion Midway. Brownwood already has secured its fifth straight postseason berth, but going into the playoffs as district champions - win or lose tonight - is special.
“We feel more confident that we can go further in the playoffs,” said junior Chloe Geye. “We’ve been more successful and we’re more focused.”
Brownwood also would like to start its postseason run on a positive note, which makes a victory tonight that much more important. The Lady Lions wouldn’t mind the bragging rights of a flawless district record, either.
“To be undefeated would be the most amazing thing,” said junior RaeLee Taylor. “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a team like this.”
While the Lady Lions anticipate another victory tonight, they also realize Sweetwater won’t be a pushover. After all, the Lady Mustangs grabbed a 25-21 victory in the first set before Brownwood stormed back with wins of 25-17, 25-22, 25-14 on Oct. 14 in Sweetwater.
“They’re one of the better teams in our district,” said junior Julie Kennedy.
Even the Lady Lions are a little surprised by the way they have dominated the rest of the district. Though Brownwood had a goal of capturing the 2-3A championship, sweeping eight of nine matches thus far was more than team expected.
“I expected us to be good, but not like whoa,” said junior Flynn Harrell.
The Lady Lions attribute their success to an intense practice regimen that began in late July with volleyball camp the week prior to the start of two-a-days. A brutal non-district schedule filled with 4A and 5A opponents helped prepare the Lady Lions for the 2-3A race, as well as the postseason.
“Hard work,” said Harrell in regards to what has led to the Lady Lions’ success. “We haven’t had a day off practice since July 28.”
Added Taylor, “We’ve been through all the different types of teams that we could see. We know we can play at a high level.”
Brownwood’s play in district also has turned the heads of potential playoff opponents. Several of the postseason contenders in Region I have kept a very close eye on the Lady Lions.
“We’ve been scouted every game, even by the state champions (Wimberley),” Kennedy said.
The Lady Lions’ quest for a state championship won’t be anything like the district race, however, as six members of the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 3A Top 25 - defending state champion and fourth-ranked Wimberley, No. 6 Dalhart, No. 10 Gatesville, No. 15 Monahans, No. 16 China Spring and No. 25 Iowa Park - reside in Region I.
Still, the Lady Lions believe they have the talent, work ethic and heart to wind up in San Marcos Nov. 22 for the Class 3A state championship game.
“We’re excited and everybody’s pushing for state,” Geye said. “We just have to keep working hard and keep playing as a team.”