Archive for Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Metro Academy taking on new teams

January 19, 2005

Metro Academy is the only squad in this year's Tonganoxie Invitational to enter the tourney with an undefeated record.

But first-year head coach Gary Spani said records likely won't be a factor at this year's tournament.

"Our challenge is we're playing some private and church schools that don't necessarily have the same caliber of play," Spani said.

The Mavericks were 10-0 coming into the Tonganoxie Invitational.

Because the Kansas City area academy isn't a member of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, the team can open the season earlier than KSHSAA squads. Metro's first game was Nov. 18, while most Kansas schools didn't start their seasons until December.

"I think that helps," Spani said of the early start.

Spani, who was an assistant last year, returns four starters from last year's club -- Shalin Spani, Taber Spani, Janessa Wilcox and Stephanie Bell.

The Mavericks lost just one senior to graduation from last year's team that went 23-8 and placed fifth in the national home-school tournament.

"I think we have two really good players in the Spani girls and the rest of our team has a year more experience," Spani said.

Shalin and Taber are Gary's daughters, while another, Tanis, also is on the squad.

Spani also said the team benefited from transfers Amanda Dooher and Liz Stinson

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