Credo is an ancient Latin word, defined as “a statement of the beliefs or aims which guide someone’s actions,” or more simply put, “I believe.”
At least, that’s how Coach Cain describes his Varsity Girls Basketball team’s motto for the 2022-2023 season.
“Credo is an adamant sense of belief, and I really wanted this year - after a year last year where we were always so close and just couldn’t get over the hump - that the girls needed to see they could do it,” explained Cain. “So to see that we have that belief, and that they have that in themselves, that’s really what the origin of [Credo] was.”
Speaking of finally breaking over the hump, this year’s team has certainly done that in the regular season so far. At the moment, the girls hold a 14-6 record overall, but what’s even more impressive is their 11-1 Midwest Classic Conference record. That type of play in conference has kept them at the top of their bracket almost all season. Currently the team is standing tied for first in the MCC with USM and well within reach of being crowned conference champions this year.
Sophomore Maddie Ratzow leads the Lightning in scoring, averaging 12.5 points a game. Haydn Hahm, a Senior, holds the title of team rebound leader with 9.4 on average, and Freshman Rachael Boldt dishes out 3.7 assists per game.
“I think now as we get towards the end, roles have become very clear,” said Cain of his team members. “You’ve got kids that are really comfortable on wheels, and that’s a dangerous thing when you have kids that are bought in on the game plan and trust each other. I think we definitely have that right now.”
While the team is clearly holding their own at the moment, a familiar name may seem to be missing from the statistics. Senior Lauren Cleary, a UW-Whitewater basketball commit, went down almost immediately after play started in the fall with a season-ending knee injury.
Cleary’s incredible talent and IQ on the court is most certainly missed this year, but the Lightning ladies have adjusted quickly to playing at the highest level even without their star player aiding them.
“I think the biggest thing that says a lot about this team is that we’ve been resilient all year,” Cain shared. “We lost Lauren [Cleary] three games in, and she would’ve been Conference Player of the Year, we had hoped. To not have her, and to have a Freshman that can step up, Sophomores, they’re all just gaining confidence.”
Confidence and motivation run strongly throughout this year’s team, but most importantly, so does their faith. Taking the motto of Credo and coupling it together with Romans 8:38 (which Cain explained as saying “I’m convinced nothing can separate us from the love of God) has fueled the Lightning with a deeper sense of passion and pride for each other and their faith community.
“[Credo] goes back to the early Christian church when they were figuring out, okay, what do we stand for and what is God calling us to stand for?” said Cain, elaborating, “Obviously as a Lutheran basketball team, our beliefs are very important to us, and we’re taking that a step further this year and using Romans 8:38.”
This season is certainly one to watch for the Lightning Girls Basketball Team - the team’s passion and belief off the court, along with their talent, chemistry, and resilience on the court - is proving to be historic for the program. The Lightning ladies offer so much to root for in many different aspects, and their team is thriving in hopes of attaining deeper playoff success this postseason. What’s not to like?
“I love this team, I’ll tell you that for one,” gushed Cain. “I’ve been really impressed with how they keep coming together. Really, it has nothing to do with basketball. We have a lot of kids in different classes, and the closeness of this team is just really cool.”