STRAFFORD, Mo–76 straight wins and back to back state titles. When it comes to winning, the Lady Indians aren’t just well versed, they’re perfect.
“I try not to keep track. There’s a lot of people that talk about it and we know how special it is, there is no doubt about that. At the same time, we try not to put too much of our focus on it. We just think about it day at a time. Just keep winning and doing the little things,” said Hayley Frank.
Strafford is climbing an historic ladder. They currently sit third in the MSHSAA record books for most consecutive wins. Eyeing Marshfield’s 102 straight victory record set back in 1990.
“It’s meant a lot. Just knowing what it would mean and what it would mean to break it. Just coming in everyday in the mornings working hard and after school working hard. Just trying our best to keep winning games and take it one game at a time,” said Kayley Frank.
Strafford’s last loss was on January 21st of 2016. It’s been 762 days. So much for that short teenaged attention span, because bored of winning?! Strafford is far from it.
“Some of those wins, were it’s like big wins and stuff we still go down to the locker room and yell a little bit just to keep the excitement up and to not get content and complacent and keep having fun with it,” said Hayley Frank.
“Everybody is practicing too and they are wanting to beat us, so they practice harder. Just getting that drive from other teams and just knowing that if we lose one, there is going to be a whole big deal about it,” said Chloe Mullings.
Runs like this are rare, that’s why Strafford coach Steve Frank looked to UCONN for some guidance.
“I watched about 2 hours of Geno Auriemma and how he kind of handled some of his runs and some of his interviews and that. I try to research some of that and take some things away from some of the programs that have been in those situations. I try to change things up, one day in practice we played wiffle ball for a little bit and then we did some more drills and then we played kick ball for a little bit,” said coach Steve Frank.
Whatever the Indians are doing, it’s working, as they continue this run of sheer greatness.
“It’s hard to let it all sink in because you get so caught up in everything that is going on, sometime you tend not to relish in what you have done. I try to do that with my kids and with my team but sometimes I get caught up in it and they are more relaxed and I’m the one that is worried about what’s next,” said coach Frank.
“Even people at the mall will come up to me and be like hey you are from Strafford right and it’s really amazing how many people like know about us,” said Kayley Frank.
“It’s on the gym up there and it’s like I did that. I was apart of that. It’s kind of nice to see that and it’s like ‘oh my gosh, I’ve always wanted to do that.’ And I finally did it. It’s just unbelievable and I am trying to put it into words and it’s not coming out very well,” said Mullings.
“It still won’t completely set in till years down the road I’m sure, we’ll really see how special it is but there are always those moments like the night after the state championship, when you are laying in bed and just thinking about how amazing the year was and how special it is, and how awesome it is to do it with these guys. That’s whenever it kind of really hits,” said Hayley Frank.