When they step on a basketball court they become one. Six seniors, who form the core of the 2015-16 Dexter Dreadnaughts, are making history. After losing their season opener, the Dreads have rattled off 18 consecutive wins – most by lopsided scores.
They will go down as one of the best teams the school has ever produced and maybe even the greatest when all is said and done. The six players have played together for years and have created an amazing continuity on the basketball court.
Six playing as one in a system designed to take advantage of the team’s incredible depth.
But off the court, these six Dexter senior girls’ basketball players are individuals with different emotions, dreams and personalities. So let’s take a step off the court and go one on one with each senior.
Amanda Fileccia wears the only odd number jersey on the girls’ basketball team. And for good reason.
“It’s the only odd number jersey, and I’m pretty odd,” says the 5-8 guard who dons No. 5.
Fileccia, who enjoys eating White Cheddar Cheez It Grooves and dining at Real Seafood Co., is heading to college after high school to study international business.
Her favorite basketball memory is beating Warren Cousino (ranked fourth in the state at the time) to win the Northville Tournament this season. When it’s all over she says she is going to “miss the girls.”
“We have played together since we could dribble a ball and we are all really close,” she said. “I will miss all the team bonding activities, even the workouts.”
She said she owes her success to her dad.
“He was the first to teach me about the game,” she says. “He would help me practice and give me advice. I wouldn’t be the player I am today without him.”
Shelbea James doesn’t just thank her mother for all her support, she thinks about her every time she slips on the Dexter basketball jersey.
“I wear No. 12 because that’s the number my mom wore in high school,” said James, a 6-1 senior forward.
She has a very close relationship with her mom.
“My mom always drove me to all my practices, workouts, games and always kicked my butt out of bed to go to morning workouts every day,” she says.
Her father was the other member of that parental backcourt. “I want to thank my dad for all his motivational texts before every game.”
James, who enjoys snacking on pretzels and dining at the Mongolian Barbecue, will never forget “spending the
whole day on the beach with the team and jumping off the pier at our team camp.”
James is taking her skills to the next level. She will play basketball at Concordia University next year. But she will certainly miss her Dexter teammates.
“We are so close and such good friends,” she said. “I will miss playing our favorite sport with them every day.”
Anna Love’s favorite show is “Friends” and she will never forget her “friends” on the Dexter basketball team.
“I am going to miss the good friends that I have made on the team,” said the 5-10 senior forward. “My favorite basketball memory is sophomore year when we did different events of the Olympics as a team bonding experience.”
Love loves to snack on fruit or eat mashed potatoes or dine at the Texas Roadhouse. She chose the No. 14 because it’s the day she was born on.
Like all of these players, Anna’s parents provided plenty of support along the way.
“I would like to thank my parents for always helping me even when I didn’t want it,” she said. “I also want to thank my grandpa for always yelling at me in the stands while I’m playing.”
Love also excels in softball and will attend Ferris State University next year on a softball scholarship.
Taylor Olson also will be attending Ferris State University, but the talented 5-10 senior forward will be playing basketball for the Bulldogs. But Bulldogs are not Dreadnaughts – at least not yet.
“Honestly, I’m going to miss all the girls,” she says. “Just being with them every day, making fun of each other or hanging out. I will really miss that.”
Her favorite basketball memory was the team sleep over in the team room at school so they could be the first team to practice at midnight.
Her favorite food is pasta which is why the Olive Garden is her favorite restaurant. When she’s not snacking on pretzels with peanut butter, she’s watching her favorite show “One Tree Hill.” Or maybe she does them both at the same time.
Taylor has plenty of people to thank for her success and happiness in life, starting with her mom. “She is my rock and I wanted her to know how much I appreciate everything she has done for me and for supporting me all these years.”
She also thanked former coach Dan Schlaff who she called “one of the best coaches ever.” And Jibri Taylor and Amy Hollman (Popz) for “working we me and pushing me to become a better basketball player and person.”
Cayla Schlaff hasn’t decided on a college yet but she has decided on continuing to play the game she loves. Even though it will mean playing without her favorite teammates.
“I am going to miss being with the girls every day and the memories,” says the 5-4 senior guard.
Her favorite basketball memory, up to this point, was attending team camp when “Alyssa Baker hid in Lauren’s room to set off alarms at 4 in the morning.”
She chose No. 4 not because of Bobby Orr but because of Kenzie Svihra, who donned No. 4 for the Dreadnaughts so she “decided to follow in her footsteps.”
Like a few of her teammates, Cayla enjoys dining at the Olive Garden even though her favorite food (mashed potatoes) isn’t on the menu. Like Taylor, she enjoys pretzels sans the peanut butter.
“I want to thank me mom, dad, step mom, step dad, the Waltons and the rest of my family for all of the support,” she said.
Hannah showed what a great teammate she is when it came to picking numbers.
“Cayla picked No. 4, Anna picked 14, Taylor picked 24 so I had to continue the trend with 34,” says the 5-10 senior forward. She also likes the Olive Garden, so she continued to the trend there too.
But she also has her own tastes – she likes mac and cheese and her favorite snack is almonds. Her favorite show is SpongeBob. Now that is different.
Her most embarrassing moment also is quite different.
“I scored on the wrong basket during the Saline game my sophomore year,” she says. “Please note it was a pass, I wasn’t shooting at the basket.”
But she gets back on course with her teammates when talking about her teammates.
“I will miss being so close to such an amazing group of friends and getting to spend seven days a week with them,” she says. “I’m also going to miss our pregame rituals especially Cal beating me up before they announce starters each game.”
She also thanked her parents for “always supporting me and encouraging me throughout my basketball career.”