JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — In our digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standout is Emma Gouge, a senior girls basketball player at David Crockett High School.
This program is turning a corner.
“Over the past four years we’ve a lot of highs and, well not many highs but a lot of lows and so it’s really been a mental work more than a physical work just trying to keep that positivity and trying to remember that there are brighter days ahead and if you just keep working for it you’ll get there,” David Crockett girls basketball senior Emma Gouge said.
Well, those days have arrived at David Crockett. Specifically, last week when the Crockett girls upset Dobyns-Bennett to reach the Big 7 District tournament title game.
“We came up a little short in the district title game but we still sealed up a region home game so I’m super proud of them but we’re not satisfied we’re staying hungry and we want to obviously go as far as we can,” David Crockett head girls basketball coach Thomas Gouge said.
Crockett has emerged as one of the best teams in our area, with one of the best players in our area in senior Emma Gouge.
“We’ve worked really hard in the offseason and the past three or four years and it’s really starting to come together we’re enjoying it and enjoying being around each other and the scores are starting to prove that,” Emma Gouge said.
“Emma is definitely one of the better players in our area and we’re glad she’s on our team she’s become a lot more confident I’ve seen it just from November until now her confidence is rising each game she’s our leader she’s a four-year starter,” Thomas Gouge said.
Emma is the engine out there, but she’s not the only Gouge wearing this uniform. her younger sister Sophia is a freshman on the team.
“It’s been a lot of fun it’s a great experience, not a lot of people get to play with their sibling it’s just been really fun this year to play with her,” Sophia Gouge said.
“Oh yeah they come from a great family they’re great kids their sister is almost a splitting image of her just by her morals and values and how she carries herself day to day and being humble like her sister,” Thomas Gouge said.
They’re not the only ones; between them in age is Edison, playing football and soccer.
“We’re very competitive extremely competitive Sophia is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever been around so she’s a supportive and then Edison is more of the you should have done this better and I’m the same way with him so we balance each other out,” Emma Gouge said.
“It’s been a lot of fun we cheer each other on and our family sits in the corner up there and almost a whole section is all of us decked out to cheer each other on,” Sophia Gouge said.
“It’s really become a part of our lives and really developed a culture in our family we’re just really proud of everything we’ve accomplished and how much fun we’ve had and this school it’s a great school and a great place to be,” Emma Gouge said.
She’s a senior, now in her final stretch run wearing a Lady Pioneers uniform.
“It kinda gives you more fuel to not want it to end and I think that’s what’s gonna help us get through these two weeks is that we don’t want to be done after one more game because speaking for myself and some of the other girls this might be the last time we ever play and it’ll be the last time we play together,” Emma Gouge said.
The Big 7 had their district tournaments a week early, so they have this week off and get ready for next week’s region tournament; a new challenge to not get rusty.
“It’s been crazy and even now this two week period is gonna be really weird for us because we’re gonna have to stay in tune and stay focused because we have a really big game in two weeks a lose or go home game so we’ve really gotta have a good two weeks of practice and not let the COVID effect us,” Emma Gouge said.
But no matter how this year ends, she knows it’s been a special run here at Crockett.
“Being a Pioneer has meant so much to me we’ve really turned around this program in the past year, year and a half and I’m so proud to have been a part of that and each of these girls feel the same way we’ve just worked really hard and like I said being able to do it with your closest friends is really special and it’s gonna be in my memories for the rest of my life,” Emma Gouge said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.