As a sophomore, Kate Benz chronicled her experiences with the Cougar basketball team during the 2004-05 season. In 2005-06, the junior forward from Portland, Ore. continues her accounts of life as a Cougar. Please visit wsucougars.com for future thoughts from Kate throughout the year.
October 4, 2005
A family is more than parents and children. It's a collection of personalities and memories with some type of common bond.
This is the essence of a team as well. As Cougars, our mutual link is our sport rather than our last name.
Each of us brings a host of experiences and a wealth of knowledge far different from every other teammate. Yet when we put it all together, we create a single unit - albeit a melting pot - with a sound sisterhood-esque bond.
We're like a patchwork quilt, and this year we added five new squares…five new members to our family - two guards and three post players. These women are much more than talented athletes, however.
We welcome Amanda DuRocher, a platinum blonde-haired shooting guard from Spanaway, Wash. "Duey" - as we like to call her - isn't your stereotypical blonde, however. She has a deep, unsuspectingly husky-sounding voice. She loves wearing her cowboy hat, country music, fishing, and driving her pickup truck. Duey is incredibly easy-going and pretty spontaneous as well. She brings a beautiful 3-point shot to the team, and she will probably play a little back-up point guard this year, too.
With Jess Perry graduated, there was a vacancy in that point guard position. Long before the other freshmen signed their letters of intent, Katie Appleton - from Big Bear Lake, Calif - knew she wanted the challenge of stepping into a starting role. We call her "Kappy," and she has got to be the proudest Cougar student-athlete in the entire athletic department. Fellow teammates describe Kappy as "Coug-a-licious" due to her utter obsession with all things Cougar. This girl wears Cougar gear from head to toe, and owning everything with the Wazzu logo is a necessity. Kappy might come off a bit shy and reserved, but give the girl a microphone for karaoke or take her to country swing dance night, and she will show you a completely different side of her. Kappy is confident and displays a work ethic everyone should try to imitate.
Something that cannot be imitated is the style of the third new member of our team, Heather Molzen. A self-proclaimed "girly-girl," Heather loves the color pink, princesses, and getting dressed up. Straight out of Southern California, Heather brings a giant smile and an equally large heart to the team this year. Heather will go out of her way to help out just about anybody, and this off-the-court characteristic transfers to the basketball court as well. Heather has contagious enthusiasm - a fantastic quality to bring to our team.
We're excited to have Ebonee Coates from Tacoma, Wash. Ebonee has a massive wingspan and is a superior shot blocker. Eb's kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - incredibly fierce and borderline scary on the court, but gentle and giggly outside the arena. Ebonee always has her nails painted, loves to shop, and always always always asks you how you're doing.
The final new member of our team is similar to Ebonee in her concern for the well-being of others. Sabrina Shired from Petaluma, Calif. is the first to notice if you're stressed out and will offer her incredible masseuse skills without hesitation. Sabs came to our team halfway through last year and redshirted. She is a driven teammate and finishes tasks many other people would give up on. This 'never quit' attitude is a mantra every member of our team must adopt in order to be successful.
Success can be measured in many different ways. As a member of a rebuilding team, I have spent two years gauging success not by wins and losses but by little victories such as fewer turnovers and losses under 10 points. With the addition of these five individuals, this looks to be the year we will be able to show success on paper - wins and losses. The culmination of positive attitudes and flat-out physical skills these women - along with the veterans - possess is something no other team in recent Cougar women's basketball has had. It's a terribly exciting feeling we can't wait to share with the fans.
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS