In 1999 the Smithville Times interviewed a young girl who wanted to play for the Lady Tiger Basketball team. The youngster told the Times reporter that her parents had taken her to most of the games and it was “neat”, and that she would play for the Lady Tigers when she got old enough adding that she was probably their biggest fan. Fast forward to 2011, that same young girl, now a senior in high school, was playing her last games as a Lady Tiger and preparing to continue her basketball career in college.
Almost 20 years after that interview, now Lady Tiger Head Coach Jaimie Kadlecek, sat down with former Lady Tiger Head Coach Robin Ramsay to discuss Kadlecek’s new role. Kadlecek and Ramsay reminisced about the times they shared on and off the court. The two talked of many good memories and there were plenty of laughs to go along with the stories.
The Lady Tiger Basketball Program enjoyed many years of success with a playoff streak of 21 years. The program did not merely make the playoffs, as the banners on the wall indicate, but excelled and ultimately earned two bids to the state tournament in Austin leaving a legacy of success.
The success of the program was due to the emphasis on self-discipline and fundamentals. With commitment to the process and taking care of the kids along the way, the program was able to dominate opponents on the court and excel in the classroom. Kadlecek is determined to bring back the tradition of excellence established by Ramsay knowing that with consistency and a commitment to excellence the program will return to its roots. Kadlecek believes that “adding a banner to the wall will be a visual representation of success but to impact these kids as I and my teammates were impacted by this program will prove to be the greatest achievement.”
Ramsay believes Kadlecek is the right person for the job stating, “Jaimie is not only a native of Smithville who understands the community, she also understands what the kids need to be successful because she was successful.” Ramsay added that Jaimie left the Lady Tiger program ready to play college basketball. After spending her first two years at East Texas Baptist University Jaimie realized she could improve on her college basketball experience by transferring to St. Edwards to play for Coach J.J. Riehl. Ramsay went on to say, “Coach Riehl is an outstanding young coach who has built a top notch program at St. Edward’s. Coach Riehl positively molded Jaimie as she grew into a young adult and prepared her to become a coach and lead her own program.” The talk ended with a brief shoot around with Kadlecek shooting her signature three pointer and Ramsay hitting her half court hook-shot which was always a sign of an impending win.
The Lady Tiger Basketball team has gotten off to a positive start at 7 – 2, winning the Rice Tournament where the team went undefeated with one of those victories coming over a district rival.
Following through with the belief that you surround yourself with success, Kadlecek continues to keep Ramsay on speed dial talking philosophy and strategy and has already had her talk to the kids about tradition. As the program has always believed, ‘Once a Lady Tiger, Always a Lady Tiger’.
by Ana Murray