Every High School athlete wants to be remembered for something. For the North Bay Haven girl's basketball team, everything they do will be remembered, as this is the first season of competition for the Lady Buccaneers. For senior Cara Culpepper, it's also her last, and she's hoping to make it a special one.
"It's very unique to be the first graduating class, but it's also sad I think," she said. "It makes me want to work harder in those last games because it's your last ones, and it's important that we're remembered here."
The Lady Bucs are off to a good start, sitting at 4-2 on the season, and Cara is doing a good job at leaving her mark, averaging just under nine points and two assists per game.
"She carries the team and she really has control of the team and trying to dictate them in doing the right things and going in the right direction," said Head Coach Sabrenia Douglas-Coates. "I've been in positions where the leadership wasn't very good at all," reflected Cara. "I've always said I want to be that example for them. I want them to look up to me. That's what I always try to strive for."
Cara doesn't just strive for leadership on the court, as she's also a stand-out in the classroom, sporting a 3.5 GPA.
"If we're given any free time in class, I'm always trying to always get homework done," she said. "It's kind of difficult to handle everything at the same time but somehow I figured it out. I've found a good balance with everything."
It's a good balance that Cara hopes to keep riding all the way to a district championship, and her chance at being remembered.
"You don't want to be forgotten," said Cara. "I think it was very unique that this class got to go through from freshman to senior year. I want people to remember us, I want people to know we paved the way."
"She talks about it all the time, as far as this is her senior year, and she wants to go out winning a district title," said Coach Douglas-Coates. "I try to keep her encouraged that this is, you are the one that's started. You're part of the legacy to be started."
A district title in your first year? Not a bad legacy to leave. Cara has already left several legacies at North Bay Haven, as she was crowned the Buccaneers first ever homecoming queen, and she's also the first Scholar Athlete from North Bay Haven. Besides basketball, Cara is also a stand out on the drums, and says she wanted to attend Highlands College to study music theory.