Caldwell, Lady Lions focused on accomplishing goals
by LAVONTE YOUNG
Ra’aunna Caldwell leads Munford in scoring with 16 points per game. Brian Schoenhals
MUNFORD- Looking at Ra’aunna Caldwell, you get the impression of a small, shy and soft-spoken young lady.



But when see steps on the hardwood, all of that changes. The 5-foot-2, 115-pound junior plays bigger than her measurements every time she puts on her Munford uniform. Her passion, determination, as well as her skills, are factors that has put the Lady Lions in position to clinch the second seed in Class 4A Area 10 on Friday against archrival Lincoln.

“Ra’aunna has been a great leader for our team,” Munford head coach Ann Hopkins said. “She is obviously scoring points every night, but not only that, she is leading our team. She goes hard for 32 minutes and she never quits. That is the character of all of our team. I am really proud of the success that we have had this year. We loss a lot of seniors last year,and we didn’t have a lot of returners. Expectations where low for Munford basketball, and 23 games into the season, we are 14-9. We have accomplished a lot and it is because of Ra’aunna’s leadership.”

Hopkins pointed out that Caldwell is not doing it by her self. The junior point guard has several players around her that get the job done nightly.

“We have had a lot of key newcomers,” Hopkins said. “Esherika Hawkins, she had an injury a few weeks ago and she has come back. She is working hard and playing well. Kedra Curtis and Keira O’neal are playing and putting up good points every night. We are fortunate to have a wide range of talent from seventh grade to 12th grade. Ra’aunna is a marvelous leader and she is a joy to coach. Like you have seen, if there is a loose ball on the floor, she is on the floor. It doesn’t matter if she is tired, she will always keep going hard and giving her best effort.”

Caldwell and the Lady Lions will try to send their seniors out with a win, in their final home game of the season on Friday. She said the senior leadership has been important on a Munford team that’s filled with inexperienced players.

“We have two seniors and they motivate us,” Caldwell said. “They encourage us and talk to us. They are a big help and they play a big role on our team.”

Coming into the season, the Lady Lions set some lofty goals. On Friday, Munford will have a chance to accomplish the first goal of sweeping Lincoln. The Lady Lions defeated Lincoln 40-34 on Dec.7.

Munford has proven this season that they are a hard team to defeat when scoring 50 points or more. The Lady Lions are 4-0 in game where they score 50 or more points. With the way the Lady Lions play defense, scoring 50 points could help them reach the postseason.

“Our main goal is to beat Lincoln and to make it to JSU,” Caldwell said. “We are doing good so far. When we score in the 50’s, we do good.”

Last season, Caldwell saw limited action, but this season she has accepted the role of being a leader and the team’s leading scorer with 16 points per game.

“Last year, we had a player with an injury and I had to step in and help my teammates,” Caldwell said. “They encourage and push me to do better as a point guard. They push me to work harder. This year, we had a lot of seniors to graduate so a lot of us had to step up and do a good job. We had to encourage the younger players to do good.”

Caldwell said she tries to mold her game after the most prolific winner in NCAA history, Maya Moore.

“I look up to Maya Moore,” Caldwell said. “She has a big impact on me and I try to play like her. My team works me and they are the reason why I score as many points as I do. They are making me a better player.”

© 2013