It’s a precarious situation, no doubt, as one bad game can bring a season, or some cases, a career, to an immediate end.
But three former local stars — Ieshia Alexander, Shelby Farrer and Amanda Parris — have plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about what’s ahead.
They each are members of teams that will carry No. 1 seeds into the upcoming conference and regional tournaments, which means their respective squads are in prime position to make a run at securing a berth in the national tournaments.
Parris, who starred at Armuchee, is a senior point guard for Anderson (S.C.) University. Her team won the South Atlantic Conference regular season title, and will open play in the SAC tourney on Wednesday night against No. 8 seed Lincoln Memorial.
“Being (the) No. 1 (seed) — it’s a big thing,” said Parris during a phone interview Sunday night. “It has put a lot of confidence in us. ... We were destined to be here, and God has us here for a reason.”
Alexander (who starred at Coosa) and Farrer (Model) are teammates for the Shorter Lady Hawks, who earned the top seed for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Region Tournament, which opens today in Lakeland, Fla.
Also, former Rome High standout Maury Wells will be in action this week for Armstrong Atlantic State during the Peach Belt Conference tournament.
She is one of three former Rome players, along with Vanessa Calhoun (Atlanta Metro) and Summer Starr (Snead State), who are now on the college level.
All of the former Rome area standouts are hoping to be involved in the type of special moments that March always contains.
Parris and the Lady Trojans, for instance, are looking to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II national tourney by winning the conference tourney this week.
If they come up short of that goal, however, they are still in a favorable position for an at-large bid to the national event.
For now, Parris is approaching each game as if it could be her last — which, of course, is a true-case scenario.
“It’s really hit home for me,” said Parris, who has started all 28 games this season and has made 53 three-pointers, “and hopefully it will do nothing but motivate me.”
At Shorter, Alexander and Farrer are hoping to help Shorter continue its recent trend of postseason success.
The NCCAA South Region begins today at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla. Shorter has a first-round bye, and will get into action on Tuesday against the winner of tonight’s Southeastern-Pensacola Christian game.
The Lady Hawks (15-11) are seeking their fourth straight national tournament appearance, and the winner of the South Region Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCCAA tourney that begins March 13 in Winona Lake, Ind.
For the Lady Hawks, the NCCAA postseason is a chance to continue what has been a strong debut season in the NCAA Division II ranks.
Shorter finished its first season in the Gulf South Conference with an 11-7 conference mark. The highlights included sweeping GSC powerhouses Union and North Alabama.
NOTE: The Shorter men’s team has also earned the No. 1 seed for next week’s NCCAA Division I South Region.
The Hawks (15-11) headline an eight-team regional that opens play on Thursday on the campus of Emmanuel College.