Leader Blues

Sunday, December 31, 2006

SPORTS >>Sterrenberg leads team with friendly examples

IN SHORT: Three-year starter Jamie Sterrenberg and the Cabot Lady Panthers are off to another strong start during the ‘06-’07 basketball campaign. The All-State player also has much college interest.

Leader sports writer

Lady Panthers’ senior guard Jamie Sterrenberg has been a staple of the Cabot girls athletic program for over three years now, as a three-year starter not only in basketball, but also softball. The 17-year-old entered her senior year on the Lady Panthers basketball team as one of only two seniors to start on the squad.
The definition of a glory hog is someone who only cares about their own stats and performances, with the team’s interest a distant second. The easiest way to describe Sterrenberg would be to say that she is the exact opposite.

Sterrenberg, along with Maddie Helms, provide the senior leadership for the somewhat young team. While she is more than happy to help the younger players along and lead by example, she leaves the more tough-love aspects of the leadership role to Helms.

“Maddie is a lot more vocal type of leader,” Sterrenberg said. “I don’t like to yell at people. I would rather be their friend.”
Sterrenberg has been All-Conf-erence during both her sophomore and junior years, also receiving an All-State nod last season.

After last year’s disappointing loss to eventual state champion North Little Rock in the state semi-finals, Sterenberg says the pre-season talk of the ‘06/’07 season being a down year for the Lady Panthers was unacceptable to herself and the rest of the Lady Panther seniors.

“Everyone said that this was going to be the boys’ big year, and that it would be a rebuilding year for us,” Sterrenberg said. “We kinda blew it last year, but we came out a lot better than people expected this year. We have beat teams we weren’t supposed to beat, and we have kept up with teams we were not supposed to keep up with.”

Sterrenberg is caught up in the exitement of her senior year of basketball, but also has a firm grip on her future. Her GPA stands at a near-perect 3.95, and her ACT score was a 30. Not only are her college prospects promising, she has the luxury of watching offers pour in from schools for two different sports.

Hendrix college has expressed interest in Sterrenberg for both basketball and softball. Southern Missouri, Ole Miss and Missis-sippi State have sent letters of interest regarding softball, and Tulsa and Harding University are interested in her as a basketball player.

She says that at the moment, she is leaning towards Hendrix because of the opportunity to play both sports and the university’s engineering program, but says it is “subject to change.”

Her interest in engineering leans toward the medical side, in chemical engineering and re-search. Finding a cure for cancer interest Sterrenberg, whose gran-dmother passed away from breast cancer. If she doesn’t go into engineering, she says she will be in the medical field in some capacity.

Sterrenberg was very informative about her own career and future plans, but the excitement in her voice reached a higher level when the conversation turned to her younger brother and her teammates.

Jamie’s brother Adam is a starter for the Cabot boys team as a sophomore, a feat that big sister says was well-deserved.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize how hard he has worked. He has practiced with three different AAU teams, he’s never been part of just one. It’s fun to watch him play as a sophomore, taking on these big, huge guys. He deserves this.”

Lady Panthers head coach Carla Crowder says Sterrenberg has been an invaluable asset to her team since her sophomore season.

“She’s a great competitor,” Crowder said. “She is an excellent student, also. She works very hard. I am proud of her.”
As far as her teammates go, Sterrenberg says that one of the things that sets the Lady Panthers apart from your average high school girls team is the closeness of the players.

“I think I have maybe one friend who is not on the basketball team,” Sterrenberg said. “I know it sounds kind of cliche, but we really are like a huge family. We are together all the time, even in the off season. We do everything together.”