A positive spirit

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Straughn’s Katie Lindsey plays during the Class 3A South Regional semifinals last week in Dothan. |  Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn’s Katie Lindsey plays during the Class 3A South Regional semifinals last week in Dothan. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Katie Lindsey has been play for SHS since the 9th grade

Katie Lindsey is an encourager.

Whether it’s from the bench or on the hardwood, the Straughn senior has embraced her role on a team that will be making its second-straight Final 48 appearance tomorrow in the Class 3A state semifinals at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

When asked what it feels like to get back to the state tournament this week, Lindsey said it’s pretty neat.

“We have been very blessed,” Lindsey said. “It’s a real big honor, and we’re very excited.

“Last year, like (SHS) coach (Scott) Kinsaul told us, we were happy to be there and enjoying the experience, but I think this year it’s a little different with our mental focus.

“Last year, we were kind of shell-shocked, but this year our experience is going to help,” she said.

From a leadership stand point, Lindsey said she feels as if her role on the team this season has been more of being there for her teammates in different situations.

“I try my best to be the best encourager that I can be,” she said. “Even if I’m playing or I’m not in at that moment, I always try to encourage and do whatever job I need to be doing at that moment.”

Encouraging others comes easy for the senior. Lindsey also cheers on Straughn’s varsity cheer squad.

During basketball action, the Lady Tiger is quick to lend another block for her team’s potent offensive attack, while also lending a helping hand on the defensive end with her speed.

Last season, Lindsey’s on-court action was hampered by a knee injury she suffered in late January. In fact, she tore her posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and still played on the injury.

“It bothered me, but we didn’t know until softball season that it was actually torn,” she said. “(Then SHS softball) Coach (Trent) Taylor made me go to the doctor.”

Lindsey got her knee fixed and didn’t get back to playing basketball until last summer in June.

It was “nerve-wracking” to get back to playing normally, Lindsey said.

“As time went on, my knee got a lot stronger,” Lindsey said. “I went to therapy for six weeks. The longer I did it, and even though it didn’t feel right it, was best to start running and working it.”

She has to wear a brace at every game.

Lindsey, who also plays softball for SHS, said it’s going to take the team making those high-percentage shots to be able to beat top-ranked and undefeated Lauderdale County tomorrow afternoon.

“We need to make our easy shots, our layups and free throws and take advantage of every opportunity we have,” Lindsey said. “And definitely control their two guards on the outside — (Emma and Ivy Wallen). We need to keep them controlled and always know where they are on the floor.”

Lindsey started playing basketball in seventh grade at Red Level. In ninth grade, she moved to SHS and the senior said it’s been a great experience.

When asked why she likes basketball, Lindsey said Kinsaul has a lot to do with it.

“When I first moved to Straughn, he took me in and treated me like all of the other girls,” she said. “I definitely respect him a lot as a person and as a coach.

“The connection we have as a basketball team as a whole has a lot to do with it, too,” she said. “We get along together very well. We play together very well.”

Lindsey said the team is “anxious” to get playing on Thursday, and noted that Kinsaul is ready, too. Tip off tomorrow is slated for 3 p.m.

“We’re ready to be out there,” she said.

Lindsey is the daughter of Jennifer and Alan Lindsey of Heath.