This story appeared in the Larks gameday program. The Wilton-Wing Girls Basketball team was honored at the ballpark before the game on June 21. The Larks and American Bank Center joined forces to recognize outstanding teams throughout North Dakota through the Team of the Month program, like the Miners.
WILTON, ND – The Wilton-Wing Miners Girls Basketball team faced a lot of challenges this past season. The team of girls is coached by Lisa Jenkins, who they all look up to.
Something special that comes along with this basketball team is the heartfelt fans that support them along the way to victory. The last time this team won the Region 5 championship to advance to state was in 1977. With a passionate coach, hardworking teammates, and great fans, the girls had a shot to advance to state this previous year.
It was an exciting time for the Wilton-Wing Miners girls basketball team. “I knew coming off last season having everybody back… we had a chance to get out,” said coach Jenkins. Her family would come out to watch every basketball game. It was short into the season when coach Jenkins’ mother passed away over winter break. She was one of the most dedicated fans, “Coach Jenkins mother, Carol Herner, a huge supporter of her daughter’s team.”
When the girls of the Wilton-Wing Miners basketball team heard this news, they knew they had to play for their coach’s mother, Carol Herner. “The team rallied around the coach and continued their quest to start with -for carol- on their shoes and the motto CUT on their hands (CAROL – US – TOGETHER).”
Very soon the girls would be playing for more than just Carol Herner. Coach Jenkins’ brother, Dave Herner passed away suddenly on the morning of the regional championship. He was a “long-time supporter and our BEST fan” said Vicky Bender. Coach Jenkins had to quickly shift her emotions over and focus on one thing. The girls regional championship game.
Going into this game the Wilton-Wing Miners basketball team created a new motto they would play for. “DCUT” (DAVE – CAROL – US – TOGETHER). With the strength of the coach and the girls, they were able to pull out a win in the regional championship game for both Dave and Carol.
“I feel that our girls team and coach showed extreme determination, teamwork, focus, tenacity, and overcame adversity,” said Vicky Bender. This basketball team continued to rally with the absence of their biggest fans.