Not long after Sydney Shull walked off the court at Colonial Life Arena this past March with her Dutch Fork Silver Fox teammates carrying the 2012-13 Class 4A basketball championship trophy to the locker room, she began to think about her senior season.
“It was definitely a good feeling, coming off knowing that we had won two championships and I was a part of that. And I knew that it was going to be my year to shine this year. I knew that I was going to have to put in a lot of work,” said Shull, now one of the Silver Foxes’ three senior captains.
And she had her work cut out for her, as coach Faye Norris needed Shull to move to point guard. Last season, with Rose Robinson and Kyla Wigfall switching off at point, Shull was the Silver Foxes’ second-leading scorer at shooting guard.
Norris was certain Shull would adjust well to the change.
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“Whatever position I’ve ever asked her to play, she worked hard at it and learned and helped us,” Norris said. Shull, who started as a shooting guard and small forward, played power forward for Norris as a sophomore when Alaina Coates was injured.
“She’s played a lot of different positions and everything wasn’t a challenge. Her attitude was I’ll do it, I’ll try it, I’ll give it my best shot, and that has kept her in the lineup for four years,” Norris said.
Shull’s work ethic and willingness to be taught are due in part to her background.
Shull was home-schooled before she enrolled in Dutch Fork and made the Silver Fox squad. Always intent on playing college basketball, Shull and her family decided she would attend Dutch Fork and play for Norris.
“I remember being little when I first got here, and not knowing what it was going to be like,” Shull said. “So the biggest thing I’ve gained from being a part of this team over the years is a lot of self-confidence.”
Which is why, when Shull realized how crucial her role would be as the Silver Foxes returned from their second consecutive championship, she was not shaken.
“It was a big position to fill but I felt like I knew I could do it,” she said.
“I’ve just had so much experience, being under two great guards last year in Rose Robinson and Kyla Wigfall, learning from them, I knew that I could do it,” Shull added.
Now the team’s most experienced player, Shull is averaging 10.2 points and 5.7 assists.
“I’m doing what I can to be a leader for the team on and off the court,” she said. “We’re a young team so we got off to a kind of rough start, but we’re on track now and ready to keep working hard through the end of region season, to put ourselves in a good position for the playoffs.”
Dutch Fork is 10-7, 5-1 and second in Region 5-4A.
Reach Nelson at (803) 771-8419