ROGERSVILLE, 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 Lydia Alvis, a senior girls basketball player at Cherokee High School.
Anyone looking over the Cherokee girls basketball team is getting their attention.
“We use it as motivation I think in practice we all had good energy and I mean it’s been helping us to get farther and pushing us to get better it really motivates us,” Cherokee senior Lydia Alvis said.
Alvis is especially motivated, since she wasn’t too fond of the preseason conference rankings.
“It really motivates us because we were actually talking in the locker room earlier like you know they picked us to be dead last and you know we’re really showing them and I think it’s pumping our girls up and we’re really excited about it,” Alvis said.
“I kinda help fuel it a little bit because we don’t want to settle for what everyone else thinks about us we want to make our own path and she does a good job of trying to lead and keep the kids motivated provides lots of energy,” Cherokee head girls basketball coach Jason Lawson said.
Entering this week, the Lady Chiefs sat at 3rd place in the Big 7, and they don’t want to stop there.
“We just wanna get as far as we can really we don’t wanna have anything hold us back we wanna get as far as we can get and just get better each day in practice and every game we play we’re just trying to get better,” Alvis said.
“She brings a lot of energy it’s been a lot of fun we have a good group of girls that have a lot of chemistry together we didn’t graduate any seniors last year so we’ve got everyone back plus we’ve got a few new ones we’ve got three seniors she’s one of the three,” Lawson said.
Alvis is one of this team’s top scorers but has established a well-rounded game this year.
“My role really is I like to drive and sometimes if my shot is off I can rebound or if I’m off on offense that day I think to myself alright I gotta pick it up on defense,” Alvis said.
“One of the big things we talk about is being able to do your job and do it well she brings athleticism quickness defensive intensity she’s able to get to the rim,” Lawson said.
Her success at this level helped her reach her goal of playing at the next level. Alvis committed to Emory & Henry late last year to play for the Lady Wasps.
“I went on my first visit back in the summer and my heart fell there and I think I was just led to go there I went to different colleges and visits and stuff but I just felt at home at Emory,” Alvis said.
She’ll be playing for a program moving up from Division-III to Division-II. Despite the move up, they still wanted Alvis to be there.
“It really motivated me more because I thought to myself I’m better than what I thought I was and it really motivated me to know that they still wanted me and to be a part of their team,” Alvis said.
“It’s always a great privilege when you’re working with kids that have that ability not just to play basketball but to get that education which is obviously going to benefit them a whole lot more in life and we’re just proud,” Lawson said.
While she’s excited to take that next step, she still has a couple months to grow her legacy here at Cherokee.
“Here in my senior year I’m working on preparing myself for college and also keeping in mind I still gotta play my best here in high school and help my teammates out so for college I’m just preparing to try and be a leader there,” Alvis said.
She’s certainly a leader on this team, playing with a group that she treasures.
“It’s so much fun I love it I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else besides Cherokee I think it’s been a fun four years and I ain’t ready for it to be over but it’s definitely been a fun and long journey,” Alvis said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.