Stafford High School girls’ basketball team celebrates senior night

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Thu., Mar. 1, 2012
Senior captain Lauren Shaw makes a quick grab in Stafford's Feb. 16 Senior Night match up against East Windsor. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
Senior captain Lauren Shaw makes a quick grab in Stafford's Feb. 16 Senior Night match up against East Windsor. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

The Stafford High School girls’ basketball team finished its season on Feb. 16 with a special celebration honoring seniors Lauren Shaw and Dani Clark. In a gymnasium decorated with floor-to-ceiling posters, streamers and dozens of balloons, fans and family members came out to recognize contributions Shaw and Clark brought to the Bulldogs during their four-year run.

“There are plenty of high school athletes that work hard,” said coach Erin Clark. “Lauren brings it to a new level. She sets the highest standards for herself and is relentless in working towards her goals.”

Teammate Kelsey Heavener described Shaw: “She has the most heart on the team,” Heavener said. A consistent offensive threat, Shaw, a guard, reached a season high with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Enfield, and said her fondest Bulldogs memory was reaching the state tournament as a sophomore. She will participate in outdoor track and field in the spring.

Dani Clark, a multi-sport athlete for Stafford, brings her athleticism to basketball, soccer and softball. “What is most impressive about Dani,” Erin Clark said, “is her incredible passion and determination. I coined a new term, ‘Dani-style defense,' to describe the high pressure and ruthless defense that I wanted her teammates to imitate.”

Jamie Sierra also commented on Clark. “Dani inspired everyone to keep fighting until the end of the game and motivated everyone to play defense like her,” Sierra said. At point guard, Clark’s best game came against Somers with 9 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals. She said that the team’s ability to bond and persevere was her best overall memory.

Bringing height to the Bulldog line-up, center Luisa Beck, an exchange student from Germany, was also recognized. “Luisa brought the team together,” Brooke Zelz said. “She was always smiling and asked if she didn’t understand something. Encouragement was her main contribution to the team.”

Hosted by Jackie and Darren Yeo, Beck was initially hesitant to come out for the team, but quickly changed her mind after meeting the girls. “I was happy to join the team and always had fun,” she said.

Clark and Shaw will attend four-year colleges and Beck plans on returning to Germany to finish her education.

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