Wright City’s Zoe Spears – Athlete Spotlight Presented by Pine Cellular

By Nick Hampton

A good leader is someone who can keep morale up even when the chips are down. And that describes the job that Zoe Spears is doing this season for the Lady Lumberjax. With a lot of new faces in what second-year coach Misty Haley describes as a rebuilding year, Spears is one just two returning starters for Wright City. And though there are four seniors on the squad, Haley and teammate Gracie Woods are the team leaders.

“I think a good leader is someone who can give constructive criticism in a positive manner, is always encouraging your team mates and picks them up if they’re down,” said Spears.

At 5-11, Zoe Spears stands tall in the paint for the Lady Lumberjax averaging about seven points and six rebounds a game and who has improved significantly since last year according to her coach.

“She’s worked hard in the offseason to be more effective inside where she’s scoring more this year but also trying to work on her perimeter shooting as well,” said Haley. “She’s such an important part of our team because of her experience on the court. She’s an encourager to the more inexperienced players around her.”

Spears is a big part of the school activities at Wright City in addition to basketball and softball where she plays first base and outfield.

“I think I’m in just about every activity there is to be in,” said the second-year starter. “I’m in student council, FCCLA, youth advisory council and National Honor Society in addition to my athletics.”

She thinks about role models for a moment and thinks of her team.

“Gracie (Woods) is probably a great example that I like to follow. She’s a good leader, she always is there and never gives up, even if we’re 20 points down. She’s always trying to keep the games close.”

Somewhat by design, this has been a tough season as the Lady Lumberjax have faced at least 10 opponents that have been ranked in the top 20 of their classes and they’re now back in Class 2A. But by playing this kind of competition, Haley hopes it will better prepare her crew for playoff time and Spears grudgingly agrees.

“We weren’t big fans of this schedule when we first started the season,” admits Spears. “But I think it’s helping us as now we’re starting to win a few games against unranked teams.”