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March 13, 2014

Former player remembers last Lady Chicks state trip

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CHICKASHA —

This time, they made the final, where Ada stood between them and a precious gold ball. It ended with Ada on top, but in while Chickasha hearts were breaking, impenetrable bonds were being made. Just a few months ago, Kelley said, the team reunited to catch up and, no doubt, talk about such an exciting time.

"The camaraderie, the cohesiveness; I think we had that established," Kelley said. "I feel like we had such good relationships and mutual respect. If we had to encourage each other, get up in each other's faces -- in a good way -- we would do that. We believes in each other and wanted to succeed as a team. 

"We had the same heart, the same goal, and everyone was working for that. It enriched that all the more. It was all the more noticeable when we were there in those games."

The twins now live in the Dallas area, and Kelley works for Gateway Church while also serving as a part of Champions for Christ. The organization uses sports as an outreach tool to share the gospel while also building both personal and spiritual relationships.

Such an attitude of putting God first, Kelley said, helped the 1995 team bond.

"One important thing, something that was a big component for us is we believed and prayed together," she said. "I wouldn't say the Lord made us win. But it was more along the lines of 'Lord, posture our hearts; we want to glorify you.'"

The best way to battle any nerves about this first state trip, Kelley said, is for players to prepare themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually.

"Have some alone time to focus on what you need to focus on," she said. "Share positive thoughts and envision yourself on the court at state. It's getting your mind prepared for the game."

And at the end of it all, she said, savor the time with the team. With two seniors, the majority of this year's Lady Chicks team will return for another run next season, but achievements like this are best not forgotten.

"Remember to laugh and have a good time," Kelley said. "Enjoy your time there with your team and enjoy the moment."

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