By Kyle Daubs
If the Apollo Conference selected a Player of the Year, Mattoon might have her.
Mallory Ramage has an incredible resume that features nods on the All-Apollo, All-State, and a scholarship from Division I Loyola-Chicago University. Despite losing All-Apollo member Delainey Bryant and starting guard Kylie Haacke to graduation, Mattoon could be a contender for the conference title with their senior leader returning.
“She can handle the ball, score off the dribble, shoot from anywhere on the floor and find her open teammates,” said Mattoon coach Amanda Aydt. “Her defense gives opponents fits. Mallory is a leader on the court and in the locker room, and she makes her teammates better.”
Aydt, who enters her eighth season as the head coach of Mattoon with an overall record of 128-67, knows Ramage is special.
“Mallory is an all-around outstanding and very talented player,” said Aydt. “Mallory can do everything on the basketball court. She is running the point for us this year and she sees the floor well. She knows when to push the ball when to attack the basket, and to set up and run our offense.”
Joining Ramage are four seniors who will see heavy playing time: Faith Niebrugge, Chloe Pruitt, Paige Farmer, and Anna Jurka.
Both Niebrugge and Pruitt were starters, while Farmer and Jurka could contend for starting minutes.
Aydt says that some members of the JV could also contend for minutes, while junior Lily Ghere could see a bigger role.
“There is always room for improvement,” said Aydt. “Lily Ghere played varsity last year and we have some sophomores, Ella Conyers, Piper Sanders, Emily Maple, and Teygen Sewell, who will also be on the varsity team.”
Mattoon finished second in the Apollo last year. With Charleston losing much of its firepower, Mattoon, as well as Lincoln, figure to be the top contenders. Lincoln returns a future Division I prospect in sophomore Kloe Froebe, but Aydt isn’t worried about optics.
Mattoon’s goals are always to compete for a title despite who returns and leaves.
“Our goal is to get better every day,” said Aydt. “We would like to contend for the Apollo title every year.”
Aydt said that the chemistry on the team is strong.
“Everyone has an important role on our team and it will take everyone on the team doing their job for us to be successful,” said Aydt. “They are great leaders, always work hard, have been very dedicated to the program, and have put a lot of time in to get better. They play very well together and their chemistry is amazing.”
|Head Coach: Amanda Aydt|
|Assistant Coach: Troy Haacke|
|Assistant Coach: Anthony Hupp|
|Manager: Maya Cook|