By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Prior to their March 18 battle with the Rochester Falcons at the Ian Smith Gymnasium, a game Oxford would win, 26-23, the Wildcats held their traditional Senior Night festivities, recognizing their eight members of the Class of 2021 and their parents, who have devoted their time and money to help their daughters reach this point in life.
In a matter of months, these young women will embark on the next chapter of their lives, but many of them, in addition to growing up and attending class with one another, have played basketball together since they were elementary school students, creating a bond that will last forever.
In alphabetical order, here are Oxford’s eight seniors, along with what they plan to do after graduating.
Mackenzie Brown, known as Kenzi, was escorted by her parents, Kevin and Brenda. A two-year varsity guard, Brown will attend Grand Valley State University in Allendale, where she will pursue a degree in Nursing, with the goal of becoming a neonatal nurse. Her advice for future Wildcats is, “Savor every second. The season may seem long, but it truly does go by fast.”
The daughter of Bernie and Cheryl, Jordan “J” Hung is a two-year varsity guard, as well. A member of Oxford Community Schools’ Early College Program, Hung will attend Rochester University in the fall. From there, she plans to pursue a degree in Elementary Education. Hung’s advice to future Oxford players, “Take advantage of every moment on the floor and take time to just enjoy the game that brought you to your best friends.”
Another two-year player, Charlotte “Charlie” McClenaghan’s parents are Mark and Sharon. Venturing south to Waco, Texas to attend Baylor University, she will study Business and Finance. McClenaghan’s message to the young Wildcat girls’ basketball players is simple, “Have fun while it lasts.”
Mackenzie “Mackie” Methner, a four-year varsity point guard, was joined by her parents, Jake and Jodi. Like Brown, she will attend Grand Valley State University, where she will study Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Voted a captain by her teammates each of the last two years, Methner’s message to young Wildcats is, “It doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or a senior, step up to anything that is thrown your way and be a leader to others.”
Emma Morris, the daughter of Mark and Kristin, is a three-year varsity shooting guard. While she was limited to nine games this season by a broken left wrist, Morris led Oxford in scoring at 10.8 points-per-game, with Methner right on her heels at 10.7. Continuing her student-athlete career, Morris will play softball for the Lake Erie College Storm in Painesville, Ohio, a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II school who belongs to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC).
Morris’ advice to future Wildcats, “Make the most of every moment because it really does fly by fast. Work hard, but don’t forget to find the joy in the game and being part of the family. Basketball has opened so many new doors for me and I have met some of the most amazing people in my life from it. Play every game like it could be your last because you don’t want to leave the floor with any regret.”
Madison Pileski, the varsity team manager each of the last two years, was escorted by her mother, Rhonda, and Scott Dunbar. Pileski regularly performs the Star-Spangled Banner on her acoustic guitar pregame, giving Oxford arguably the best National Anthem in the Oakland Activities Association (OAA). Currently deciding between entering the Fire Academy, Police Academy, or National Guard, her favorite basketball memory is seeing her teammates each day at practice. Pileski’s advice to future Wildcats, “Hold on to your bond and memories you create with your teammates because they are going to be with you for a while.”
Payton “Pay” Szymanski’s parents are Dan and Andrea. A two-year varsity forward, she will further her studies at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, where she plans to major in Architectural Engineering. Szymanski’s advice, “Focus on the friendships you make because they’re the most important thing you can take away from a team and you will have them forever.”
A member of Brian Kim’s volleyball program on top of her basketball accomplishments, Brooke Zeiter was joined by her parents, Kevin and Donna. A two-year varsity forward, she is undecided on where she will go to school in the fall, but knows she wants to major in English and Psychology. Eventually, Zeiter’s goal is to attend Law School and become an employment lawyer. Her lasting words of advice, “Don’t focus on the losses. If you tried your best, then it’s the best you could have done at the time. Also, try to have fun during the season because you never know when it could be taken away from you.”
By Teddy Rydquist