The Wall Lady Eagles basektball team is off to a hot start on the season and a lot of their success is due in part to senior Emilee Pauley who sparks the team when they need to get their motor running when her team needed a stop.
Wall Eagles Head Coach, John Hess says, ' Emilee, when she started playing for us as a freshman she's always been our little spark plug. And back then when she would come into the game defensively she would spark something for us.'
Being the lockdown defender has been a role that Pauley has embraced her whole life.
Athlete of the week, Emilee Pauley says, 'Just from a really young age I've always enjoyed defense. I get agressive, I feel like the team strives off of that agresiveness.'
Pauley who has stepped in the role of being a Captain this year for the Eagles has used the experience to learn when to use her passion.
Hess says, ' Now there are times where we have to explain to her the difference with how she's the captain. She's a ranch kid and that fire comes out sometimes when it shouldn't come out but she's doing a good job with that."
Pauley also excels in rodeo and credits the sport that relies on the individual to where she has learned her fire.
Pauley says, ' Being a ranch family and participating in Rodeo you really learn to push yourself without a team and without a coach. So I have always been very intense and push myself to be the best that I could be and try to push others around me to be the best that they can be."
And its that pushing others to be the best they can be mentality that is the team standard for the Eagles.
Pauley says, ' We just try to work hard everyday, we're trying to stay good in school, and be respecful. That's a huge part of being successful is just working hard and keeping your values right and leading by example.'
Those qualities are preached by Coach Hess and he has seen those qualites be exemplified by Pauley.
Hess says, ' We preach a lot about be on time, be respectful, and that kind of stuff. And she is.'
Those life lessons will serve Pauley off the court, but there is one more lesson on the court that Hess has taught the team's spark plug when her motor gets revving a little too hard.
Hess says, ' Over the last four years, we've tried getting that mentality of be quick but don't hurry. And she's done a good job, especially this year as a senior where you can tell there are times where she slows things down. So that be quick but don't hurry has sunk in."
Congratulations to Emilee Pauley on being this week's athlete of the week.
For Black Hills Fox Sports, I'm Jeff Voss