WHERE: Kids Unlimited: 821 N. Riverside Ave., Medford, Oregon
WHAT: Breakfast to celebrate Panther program participants, grades 5th through Varsity.
RECOGNITION CEREMONY FOR ALL LADY PANTHER TEAMS AND A SPECIAL PRESENTATION FOR SENIORS KIM CERON (Menlo College, NCAA DII Commit) AND JANAYA BULLOCK (Undecided)
Tickets: $15 for an all-you-can-eat buffet that includes fresh-cooked and deliciously prepared scrambled eggs, thick-cut bacon, breakfast sausages, pancakes, fruit, juice and coffee. Bid on some great silent auction items, such as baskets from Red Lily, restaurant/salon packages, apparel and more. All donations are tax deductible.
Undefeated SWC Champions
State Championship Titles
State Championship Runner Ups
Collegiate athletes in 17 seasons
Lady Panthers basketball fans,
Winter is here, and we are excited for another season! This year’s South Medford Lady Panthers basketball poster is titled HERSTORY. This team is excited to carry the tradition of excellence while cherishing the opportunity to add their own chapter to the history of what has made South Medford basketball special.
Over the years, our program has traditionally scheduled tough opponents, and this year might be the toughest in quite some time. As a Nike Elite high school program, we’ve been selected to participate in some really incredible competitions that give our student athletes a chance to compete with teams of the highest national caliber.
Our preseason schedule alone features 12 out-of-area events and poses matchups with several nationally ranked teams — in just the month of December alone — and this year’s SWC may finish with the highest league rating in our conference’s history. Our goal every season is always to play the best competition to prepare ourselves for being the most meaningful in March.
After finishing the 22-23 season with a record of 27 and 3, an undefeated SWC title and a state championship runner-up finish, this year’s team will have big shoes to fill. Significant is the loss of three seniors who all moved successfully into collegiate basketball, including starting roles in the PAC-12 and NAIA school respectively.
With only two seniors, one junior, seven sophomores and one frosh, our team is very young. Yet belief in our potential remains very high, given that nine of the 12 are returning from last year’s team.
For me as the coach, it’s always fun and rewarding to watch kids grow and develop. And while sometimes the process of maturation can be difficult, reflection on the journey is what truly brings smiles to our faces. Cultivating passion for basketball, tempered with the hard work and dedication to student athletes’ goals, we reap the rewards of success on and off the court, making for the greatest memories.
This year’s team features two seniors, Kim Ceron and Janaya Bullock. Kim has been a four-year varsity player receiving all-conference acknowledgments in her junior season and has recently committed to an NCAA scholarship at Menlo University in California. Janaya is coming off a year of absence to rehabilitate a torn ACL in spring 2022. Naya is still navigating options for post-high school play.
Excepting our senior class, the roster comprises ages 16 and under yet continues to show continual growth since last season’s state championship runner-up finish. This youth movement is led by lone junior Sara Schmerbach, a returning all-conference selection who has garnered several NCAA Division I offers over the course of a successful spring and summer campaign.
I continue to believe our sophomores are the most talented single class I’ve had in my 17 years at South. It consists of seven players led by all-conference and all-state honoree Taylor Young, who has quickly become one of the Northwest’s top recruits. Joining Young will be a very talented group of players who also have landed on the recruiting radars of universities after their successful off-season development. They consist of front court player Mayen Akpan and forward Dyllyn Howell, teamed with guards Jordan Barlow, Elise Richardson, Malia Taulani and Dannika Ostvik. Rounding out the roster will be lone freshman Payton Andersen, a very versatile combo guard. We know this collectively talented group of young players will play an important role in this year’s Lady Panthers identity.
On behalf of our kids and coaches, we are grateful for our Lady Panthers friends, families and supporters. Your commitment to these outstanding young women is truly appreciated. The commitment to be the best student athletes they can be reflects South Medford, their families and our entire community, and I am blessed and honored by the opportunity to be their coach.