For Sara Fletcher and the Matoaca High School girls’ basketball team, it’s been a season of ups and downs. From being one of the teams at the bottom of the standings, the Warriors have rebounded to win six district games, likely good enough for a No. 5 seed in the coming District Tournament.
Fourth-year head coach Glenna Lewis has seen some teams come and go, but she admires how hard this team works, both in and out of the classroom; Fletcher has been one of her stars on both fronts, despite having to overcome the passing of her father, who had cancer while she was in eighth grade.
“I kept hearing about this great player coming out of Carver,” said Lewis, “but I heard she was struggling with outside-of-school issues. I don’t know what I would have done if my father passed away at 14.”
Fletcher has made a career of her strong post play, leading the team in most offensive statistical categories, and taken on the role of team captain this year. That’s all while taking a more demanding course load, heavy toward her goal of nursing, and working a part-time job to help her mother, Faye Fletcher.
“I know that when Sara wants something extra, she’s trying to pull extra hours at work to buy it for herself,” said Lewis. “She doesn’t want to put the extra stress on her mother.”
That outstanding work ethic has translated into a 4.2 GPA this year, and a healthy stat line of nearly 18 points per game, nine rebounds, and three blocks, making her one of the best post players in the area.
“I’ve always tried to do things that would make my dad proud if he was still here,” said Fletcher. “Whether it’s getting great grades or playing basketball, going into nursing, I know he’d support me.”
Fletcher’s interest in nursing was sparked from seeing her dad go through treatment and the medical process.
“Seeing all these things were hard,” said Fletcher, “But it also really made me realize how interesting it was and how interested I was to help people in the same fashion.”
A season or two ago, Lewis recalled, another student went through similar issues in which a parent was very sick. Fletcher came to Lewis and offered to help her teammate in any way she could.
Fletcher would like to attend VCU in the fall and work toward her goal of becoming a nurse, but first, there’s the rest of her senior season and senior year.
Matoaca will finish up with Fletcher’s senior night against Thomas Dale Thursday night, and then head into the Central District tournament to face either Prince George or Colonial Heights in the first round.
“We’ve been trying to get better as a team all season,” said Fletcher. “We have worked hard on fundamentals, and while our record isn’t what it should be, we have done pretty well on the whole.”
Fletcher and the Warriors as a No. 5 seed would likely have to face top-seed Thomas Dale in the second round should they advance, and of course would be looking to play Cinderella at the Central District Tournament.