FS Sports Podcast Episode 1: Interview with Captains of the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team

Lucas Nelson and David Williams

Join David Williams ’23 and Lucas Nelson ’23 as they interview the senior captains of the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team about their season and playoff aspirations.



Lucas Nelson (00:00): Welcome to the first official Friends Seminary sports podcast! Our first guests are players on the women’s varsity basketball team, Sophie Parr, Raven [Kilgore], and Tessa [Gray].


David Williams (00:16): First off it seemed like there was a ton of energy in the gym [on] senior night. How [was] that experience for you all? 


Tessa Gray (00:23): Okay. I can go first. It was really great to have such crazy crowd support and also [have] so many people there. So it was really nice, especially after not having spectators at a lot of our games this season ‘cause of COVID. So yeah, it was lovely I thought.


Lucas Nelson (00:47): So right now you guys are ten and four now. What factors would you guys say have led to that start? 


Sophie Parr (00:57): I think [it’s] for the most part our team this year even though we’ve had this two year break where we didn’t play any basketball with each other. I guess we kind of used that as motivation to work harder in practice, I guess, to the point where now I think we have better strategy than we had in past years. Perhaps not improved skill level, but better strategy. ‘Cause for the most part, I mean, I don’t think our team has improved skill level wise. We still have a lot of young players, but we work better as a team and that has resulted in more wins this season. And I guess we also have gotten better to a certain extent. 


Tessa Gray (01:48): [I] think we have developed skill wise. I mean, I think most of our players, including me, didn’t really play any basketball over quarantine. And then just kind of like [hopped] back into it. But we did get some new players. We have an eighth grader on the team named Nilah who’s had a crazy season. I think we just kind of learned how to work better together and I don’t know, things just kind of started clicking in a weird way [that] they haven’t before. 


David Williams (02:34): So how would you describe the season so far? Like in comparison to previous years? 


Raven Kilgore (02:41): I mean, I feel like we kind of touched on it already a little, but we’ve just gotten a lot better at working together. And also, when I was sophomore, I feel like I didn’t know how to play and now I know how to play and I mean that’s obviously helped.


Lucas Nelson (03:02): All right. What impact [has] having [four] seniors had on the team? Especially, what impact has that [had] on the younger players? 


Sophie Parr (03:16): Well I think especially this season, basically all of our starting players are seniors, which means [the team] won’t have us in coming years. So on like knowing that this was our last season on the team, I think Deanna was smart to include a lot of younger players. There are a lot of eighth graders; more than we’ve ever had before. And I think giving them this opportunity to play with us and play against teams that are better than us is allowing them to grow at a younger age and is setting us up for the future. So hopefully this won’t be just one good year that we’ve had [that’s] never gonna happen again. I think there’s a lot of potential coming in the next years.


David Williams (04:09): Now, Tessa, I think you touched on this earlier, but obviously Nilah has had such a big impact on this team, which is crazy, especially for someone who’s still in eighth grade. Do you remember your experience playing on varsity as a middle schooler? 


Tessa Gray (04:24): I do. I was in eighth grade and I was terrified and I don’t think there were any seniors on the team, but there were a lot of juniors and sophomores and I was terrified and they were all very, very nice to me and I’m pretty sure that year I won one of the [league] awards which was really cool. And everyone was really nice to me. I’ve made some of my strongest friendships out of my eighth grade basketball season, which is crazy to me. But I think that, at least for me, it was a very welcoming environment, which I didn’t expect it to be. 


Lucas Nelson (05:18): So kind of adding on to that. I was wondering how you guys see the future of the program here at Friends and also do you guys feel like there’s a special bond that this team has compared to previous years? 


Raven Kilgore (05:34): Well I feel like there’s a lot of anxiety around that right now, just because so many of the seniors are the ones that are playing the majority of the games, but there’s a sophomore Morgan and I know that she’s gonna really take charge because she already kind of has a little bit and she’s one of the best players on the team. And Annie, she also is one of the best players on the team, and also she’ll be a senior and same with Ivory. So I think there is hope, [and] a lot of people are really nervous, but I think they’ll be okay. 


David Williams (06:09): Now back to this year, what do you guys believe is the ceiling for this team? A deep playoff run? A league championship?


Tessa Gray (06:21): Obviously it’s the championship, but is that really winnable? Not super sure, but I think we’re third seed in the AIS playoffs, so hopefully we will be able to win a few playoff games. 


Sophie Parr (06:50): The game we have tomorrow [is] really important. 


Tessa Gray (06:56): Oh yes, that’s true. We also, we also have a championship tomorrow in the league. And so the smaller league, the ACIS, has its championship tomorrow, which is at home. 


David Williams (07:10): Mm. 


Tessa Gray (07:11): Which is against Grace. 


Lucas Nelson (07:14): Well, good luck with that. So even missing your guys’ junior season, what would you guys say is your takeaway from the overall experience of playing varsity basketball throughout high school? 


Raven Kilgore (07:33): Well, I think that I’ve made a bunch of friends that I definitely would not have made [without] being on the team. I don’t think I’d be friends with three eighth graders. So I guess that I’ll take away the [friendships] I’ve made and just like the ability to also take on leadership roles that I wouldn’t have been as comfortable taking on before. 


Lucas Nelson (07:58): Yeah. That’s all the questions we have. I really appreciate you guys joining! David, do you have anything to say? 


David Williams (08:05): No. Just thanks for coming. 


Raven Kilgore (08:07): Thank you. 


Tessa Gray (08:08): Thank you for having us. 


Sophie Parr: Thank you.