VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) – They have won the 3A Greater St. Helens League every year of the past two decades, but when might the Prairie High School girls continue their epic streak?
Shooters shoot Prairie High's Claire Heitschmidt knows that.
"True. I like to play fast. I just like to win. Whatever I can do to win, work hard, win, that's what I like to do. Who doesn't like to win?" Heitschmidt said.
That's all they do in the Falcons' nest. Heitschmidt is one of seven seniors for a program that has won 20-straight league crowns.
"That is something to kind of look forward to so it can continue. It's kind of a big deal, which I love," she said.
Prairie Hoops is kind of a big deal last winning it all now two winters ago.
"We had three D1 players, we had a lot of good girls, and I just kind of played my role as a bench player and kind of getting ready for my time, which was last year and hopefully again this year," Heitschmidt said.
Having seen how that class operated and how the seniors guided it when you get back out this season, and you will, how do you model yourself after that group?
"Just trying to lead my team to win some games and stay motivated, trying to get my team to come to these practices and really just be the best they can be this season and work as hard as we possibly can."
Leading by example, this Falcon with a 3.9 GPA will soon soar to Central Washington to hoop it up in Ellensburg for the Wildcats.
"I know a couple of girls there. A girl from my club team is also going there. It just felt like the place to be for me," Heitschmidt said. "It was definitely a relief, you know, I don't have to stop playing the sport that I love. I can keep doing it, and I have something to look forward to."
A Hooper since she was six, the 17-year-old baller knows each dribble means opportunity.
"This might sound a little cheesy, but just don't take anything for granted. Live every day. You never know what day, just live every day to the fullest. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow," Heitschmidt said.
Nevermore so for the kids from Prairie High as the boy's coach and longtime PE instructor, Kyle Brooks missed last season and had to re-learn how to walk and talk after being paralyzed and on a ventilator with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
“Coach Brooks, I have him in basketball class, my brother went to Prairie and played for him, and he is such a great guy. I've known him for since my freshman year taking his class, we just really connected on a different level and he's one of my favorite teachers," Heitschmidt said.
Thankfully, Brooks is happily back on the court now, one year later, and hopefully, this season still plays out in a healthy way for all.
If you know of any High School senior athletes who deserve the Fox 12 Spotlight, just drop Nick a line at Nick.Krupke@kptv.com.