Eight-grade students play key role in Rutherford girls basketball’s varsity success

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– The Rutherford girls basketball team’s season is off to a successful start.

The Lady Rams are 8-1 on the year, they have already nearly tripled last season’s win column.

One reason for that success is first year head coach, Jasmine Threatt. She was an assistant with the program last year and coached at Everitt Middle School prior to coming to Rutherford.

After Hurricane Michael Rutherford and Everitt combined to form a 6th through 12th grade school.

The change means the FHSAA allows seventh and eight-grade students to play varsity sports. It also means Threatt is now coaching several familiar faces.

“I’ve seen some of the girls especially some of my juniors since they were in the 6th grade… it’s nice to bring them together,” Threatt said.

Braniya Baker and Shakirah Edwards are the two eight-grade students on the team.

Threatt said Edwards had no reservations when she was asked to play varsity, but Baker was a different story.

“I didn’t want to play varsity,” Baker said.

Despite the resistance, she now plays a key role on the team.

The athletes do more than make the Lady Ram’s roster unique, they consistently lead the team in scoring.

“Anybody that has two 8th graders dropping 20 points will double their win count so that is a great blessing,” Threatt said.

“I want to become a better player a better leader throughout the years,” Edwards said.

The seniors on the team have helped the younger players transition to high school level basketball.

“Just to be an example for the younger girls and also for the older girls as well,” senior Gabby Reynolds said.

This year the team’s motto is ‘Believe The Hype’ .

“We’re trying to change what is normally known for Rutherford girls basketball,” Threatt said.

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