Kee girls basketball team returns seven letterwinners for 2020-2021

2020-2021 Kee girls basketball team ... Left to right - Front row: Neva Peterson, Maggy Weymiller, Reagan Mudderman, Jaylyn Walleser; Back row: Macy Manning, Jada Mitchell, Haley Meyer, Alison Wagner, Alaina Bakewell. Photo courtesy of the Kee High School Yearbook.

The 2020-2021 Kee basketball season has been looked forward to since the Lady Hawks ended their 2019-2020 campaign with a 15-8 season record last winter and seven letterwinners from that winning campaign were slated to return this winter season. Although what has transpired since the end of that season in the realm of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed a number of aspects both prior to and heading into this season, that pandemic has made this winter’s campaign looked forward to even more but also offers its own set of challenges in order to make it happen.

“As coaches, we have to follow all of our administration guidelines, which in our case means masked up when in close contact, six feet apart at breaks, sanitize, and water breaks often,” Kee girls basketball coach Ben Wagner said. “We have had a few schedule changes, playing New Hampton instead of the Border Battle and Decorah instead of a Minnesota opponent. Our biggest challenges will be just trying to stay healthy, and being smart on decisions in social life.”

The adjustments made necessary by this unprecedented pandemic started even before the Lady Hawks were able to take to the court for their first practice in mid-November, limiting off-season and pre-season work that would give any other season a more foundational headstart. “Some did a lot on their own,” Coach Wagner said of his team’s off-season preparation. “We had a few open gyms but also had to cancel some.”

Leading the way in wading through all of that off-season uncertainty and being ready to take on all opponents, both on and off the court, is that collection of seven letterwinners who return from last season. That varsity experience is well balanced between all three eligible grade levels, including the senior pair of Macy Manning and Jada Mitchell, juniors Haley Meyer and Reagan Mudderman, and the sophomore trio of Alaina Bakewell, Alison Wagner and Jaylyn Walleser, many of whom not only contributed to the Kee varsity girls basketball season last winter but who have also made significant contributions to all of the Kee girls athletic programs they have participated in during their high school athletic careers.

The Kee basketball girls were scheduled to get their adjusted 2020-2021 schedule off to an earlier start than just this week, originally being slated to host Waukon Friday, November 20 and play at West Central Tuesday, November 24, but both of those games were postponed due to Waukon’s football State Championship game being played November 20 and Kee High School being closed for COVID-19 considerations this past week. The Lady Hawks were instead slated to get their competition schedule started Tuesday, December 1 at Decorah before playing at home against Central Elkader Friday, December 4. The Kee girls will then make up their November 24 postponed game December 7 at West Central before hosting Postville Tuesday, December 8.

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