The Saint Thomas More girls basketball team is a dynasty in the state having won the past four state titles. This year's team will look to continue that strong success with senior Claire Kirsch being a cornerstone of the team.
Claire Kirsch says, " That's something that has always been in the back of my mind since I was young that I want to be successful and I want to keep what coach Kandolin and the team has built here so its definitely something important."
Under coach Brandon Kandolin More has become known for not only their success but their stifling defense and being a team that works as one unit.
Brandon Kandolin says, " She knows that for us to be successful that we will have to defend. She's very good at it for us. A very good lock down defender."
Claire Kirsch says, " Hard work. We've been working together in the off-season its finally here and pushing each other in practice and just building a bond and just remember that you can't win with just one person. so it takes teamwork and hard work."
Kirsch has been involved with Saint Thomas More program before she entered high school and has developed her game through the great leadership from the upperclassmen. That is a trait that Kirsch is now looking to give those younger than her to keep the tradition rolling
Kirsch says, " Just be a good leader. I've been blessed to have great leaders on this team since I was in 7th grade playing high school ball. Its been amazing and such an experience to ahve those kind of people in my life to guide me to be a better basketball player and person. So I hope I can be t hat kind of person for the younger girls too."
Kandolin will also be relying on his senior to keep the STM program on the top of the mountain for years to come.
Kandolin says, " Its going to be imporant for the growth of the whole program with her ability to be a leader. That's what we're looking forward to is that she provides that oppurtunity for younger girls to grow. We're loking to instill these young girls to give 110% to continue to put us in position to be successful."
Its not only the skills as a leader on the court but also the game that Kirsch plays and dedication off the court.
Kandolin says, " Just again the physical strength she has, being dedicated to working out she is a very very physical person which is giong to be important as she makes that jump to the next level."
That jump to the next level will be at the University of Nebraska Kearney where Kirsch has committed to play.
Good luck to the Claire Kirsch on being this week's powerade athlte of the week and the rest of the Saint Thomas more Cavailiers on their upcoming season.
For Black Hills Fox Sports I'm Jeff Voss.