by Beau Wicker
Winamac’s girls basketball team was once again a Top 10 team in Class 2A for most of this past season.
A big reason for that was the play of senior guard Jessica Schramm, who was a three-year varsity contributor for the Warriors.
Schramm was mostly a 3-point specialist in each of the last two seasons, but she was able to expand her game her senior season to be more of an all-around threat.
“I definitely drove more this year,” she said. “I knew teams would get out on me more, so I drove to the basket more.”
Schramm ended up leading the Warriors in points scored this season with 298 and was second on the team in scoring average (13.6 ppg).
A prolific bomber from the outside, she shot 39 percent from 3-point range (40 of 103). She was also a sharp-shooter at the foul line, where she made 90 of 110 attempts (82 percent).
She also was the team’s second leading rebounder (5.1 rpg) despite standing in at just 5-foot-6.
An injury to standout junior forward Stephanie Shorter (16.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg) late in the season derailed the Warriors’ championship hopes. They were defeated by Frontier in the Midwest Conference championship game and by Boone Grove in a sectional semifinal when their frantic comeback attempt fell just short.
Winamac coach Jeff Wagner said he truly believed the Warriors could have won both big games if not for Shorter’s broken hand injury.
“We wouldn’t have missed a beat and we would have been a lot better,” he said.
Wagner also credited Schramm’s work ethic over her four-year career as a key to her success.
The Warriors finished the year with a 16-6 record.
“A lot of people didn’t expect us to have such a good season,” Schramm said. “We went 16-6, which is pretty good. It was not the year we wanted, but it was a good season overall.”
Schramm also plays softball and expects the Warriors to field a strong team this spring.
The following is a question-and-answer session with Schramm.
Q. Of the sports you play, which is your favorite? Why?
A. Basketball by far is my favorite sport because I’ve been playing ever since I could remember, and I love the closeness of our team.
Q. How did you first get started in sports? At what age?
A. I first started playing when I was 5 in the YMCA little dribblers and T-ball leagues.
Q. Do you have any family members who played sports?
A. My older brother Justin played football, basketball and track.
Q. Have you ever played a sport that you were not successful at?
A. Yes, I played soccer when I was younger but my skills left something to be desired.
Q. How do you feel you’ve improved as an athlete since you first started playing?
A. I feel like I’ve improved by having more confidence as an all-around player.
Q. Who do you consider your biggest role model? Why?
A. My mom and dad [Kim and Chris] are definitely my biggest role models because they’re always supportive of whatever I do and I know there’ll always be there for me.
Q. What experiences have you had in sports have made you the athlete you are today?
A. I think I’ve really benefited from having played three years at the varsity level. Experience and keeping your head under pressure is essential in order to be successful. I’m thankful that three years has helped me to develop this skill.
Q. What is something that not everyone knows about you?
A. Something that not everyone knows is that I’m addicted to watching Lifetime movies.
Q. What is your favorite memory of playing sports at your school?
A. My favorite memory is winning basketball sectionals last year at North Judson and our cheer block charging the court.
Q. What’s your favorite music, movie, TV show, etc.?
A. I like any type of music. TV show: Pretty Little Liars. Sports team: Colts.
Q. Who is the best athlete in your respective sport you’ve ever gone up against?
A. I think the best athlete is Whitney Jennings.
Q. What are your goals for your future? Do you plan on attending college?
A. I plan on going to U of I and going into the medical field.
Each week during the school year the Pharos-Tribune recognizes an athlete from one of five area high schools. The recipients are selected by each school’s athletic department.