SHS Senior Night full of celebration

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Fri., Feb. 25, 2011
Heald and Zelz wait for the foul shot attempt. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
Heald and Zelz wait for the foul shot attempt. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

At the end of regular season play, the SHS girls’ basketball team recognizes their graduating seniors. Fans and family come out to pay tribute to the special young women who have impacted the school with their good sportsmanship and positive attitudes. On Thursday, Feb. 17, Megan Zelz and Brianna Heald were honored.

Head coach Erin Clark began her career as the Lady Bulldog’s leader in the same year as Zelz and Heald. “We started together,” Zelz said.  “Coach has been with us since the beginning.”

Under the direction of Clark, both Zelz and Heald have developed into high caliber athletes. Clark reflected on Heald’s skills, on and off the court. “Brianna has a tremendous passion for the game of basketball.  A starter since her freshman year, Brianna has led Stafford in scoring, rebounds, blocked shots, and assists for the past three seasons.  She is also one of the team’s toughest defenders.  As a junior, Brianna led Stafford to its first State Tournament berth in seven years. The Stafford Girls’ Basketball program will truly miss Brianna’s passion, playmaking ability, and competitive edge,” said Clark.

A recognized athlete, Heald has been awarded several honors throughout her career in Stafford, including the Coach’s Award; Most Valuable Player as a sophomore, junior and senior, and earned a spot on the NCCC All-Conference Team. Looking back on her time at SHS, Heald’s best basketball moment came when she scored the final basket, and winning point in a game against Enfield.

Coach Clark remembers the scene, “When Brianna scored a game-winning basket at the buzzer to win the game versus Enfield High School during her freshman year, I knew she would be special player,” she said. Heald plans on attending Central Connecticut State University to study social work.

Equally valuable, Clark recognizes Zelz as the heart of the team. “Megan stands out as one of the hardest working and most dedicated players on the team. Because of her perseverance and hard work all four years, she earned a starting position as a senior and was a valuable post player, both on offense and defense.  She was one of the top rebounders on the team.   During her senior year, teammates looked to “Z” for leadership, support, and laughs.  Through working hard and demonstrating her dedication and commitment to the team, Megan consistently set a great example for the younger players,” said Clark.


Coach's Corner-

Stafford Girls’ Basketball Coach Erin Clark

Number of Seasons: 4

Next season: Looking forward to the 2012 season, Clark feels the groundwork that seniors Brianna Heald and Megan Zelz helped cement will help the Lady Bulldogs excel.

 “While it will be difficult to replace the scoring of Brianna, Lauren Shaw showed significant promise and should provide scoring next season. Anna Janusz and Isabella Randazzo are emerging as powerful post players.”

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