Living in the Philadelphia region, we know all to well about the titanic power that some athletes possess. The athletes personify determination. They are willing to collide with a wall in the outfield or a catcher at home plate. They can hit a ball to the third deck in right field. They can leave a wide receiver debating whether or not to cross over the middle again. They can throw four touchdown passes on a broken ankle. They can play playoff hockey with a history of concussions. It’s the burning desire to win. They will stop at nothing to come out on top. And their hard nosed-gritty play opens the flood gates and every one else on their team follows suit.
Dana Weems, Janelle Garber, Renata Neal and Mary-Kate Seratelli are your West Chester University Lady Golden Rams basketball enforcers. A quartet of inside monsters that are wreaking havoc for opponents and opening up the rest of the Lady Rams lethal offensive attack and slamming the door shut on the defensive end of the court. Many teams are lucky to have one or two players who can command such a presence and can dominate the way these four have in recent weeks. The Lady Rams are blessed with four.
Weems, a junior transfer has had a huge impact. She played guard before coming to West Chester and saw herself in that position from the opening tip-off of the season. She was not the biggest player but her athletic ability and physical strength spoke for itself. She was like a bull and the ball was that big red flag being waved in front of her. And she was going to get it, all while coming off of the bench.
But then things got messy.
Katie Kline got hurt and Weems had to move to forward, a position she had never played before. It was also a position in which she would be going head to head against players who were bigger than she was. But the confidence of her coaches and teammates enabled her to grasp her new role in no time.
Now a week before the playoffs, Weems has made her presence known up and down the court. Playing through a nagging shoulder injury, she still possesses an uncanny will to win and team-first attitude.
Garber is the big gun in the middle. The sophomore starting center for the Lady Rams continues to impress every game. Filling in last year off of the bench for the teams top two inside threats, Garber was nothing short of miraculous. Whether being asked to score or play lockdown defense on the inside, Garber did what was required. A year later, she parlayed that into a college athletes dream: starting on a team that is on fire and leaving teams clueless as to what hit them as the Lady Rams drive toward the playoffs continues.
After falling to Cheyney on the road on January 23rd, a new game plan needed to be devised. Vastly out rebounded by the Cheyney Lady Wolves, Lady Rams head coach Deirdre Kane decided it was time to get Garber going on the inside. Since that game, Garber has become a terror on the inside for opponents.
Neal, a sophomore forward, did not play as much as she would have liked in her first year on the team. But in year two, Neal has earned her time to shine. And she has left nothing on the table. She possesses explosive athletic ability and that has Neal poised for a big future. The past few weeks, Neal’s play on the court has drastically improved and that stems from improved ball handling which has her wreaking havoc on the opposition.
Seratelli is a freshman. But freshman on a team this good do not have enough experience to get on the court. They need to watch and learn. Good thing that’s a load of crap. Otherwise, why would Seratelli be in this article? Even with fewer minutes than the other three middle monsters, she plays just as tough and just as well when she is out there. The one thing Seratelli brings more than anyone on this list is a deadly three point game. The Lady Rams have their snipers in Catherine Andrews, Natalie Winters, Amanda Vitzakovitch, and another outstanding freshman, Megan Stewart. But Sertalli’s all out game can make opponents speak one word: uh-oh.
Four girls on the Lady Rams are creating havoc. They are the key to helping the Lady Rams unleash hell. The team is on fire and the playoffs are coming. These four titans enjoy punishing their opponents. Be glad you are on their side. Because if you were not, well, you get the point.
Mike Heiman is a third-year student majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in literacy. He can be reached at MH606613@wcupa.edu.