When Mark Spivey arrived at Stafford High School in the summer of 2017, he had a clear goal – to build a program, not just a team.
The Stafford High girls basketball coach and his program appear to be ahead of schedule. After finishing second in district last season, the Lady Spartans will compete for the program’s first district championship in nine years.
“I think we have the team to do it,” Spivey said. “We are favored, as long as we play ball the right way.”
Stafford, which opened the season Nov. 2 against 6A Spring Woods, returns four starters, including reigning district MVP Chaunta Thomas and Chelsea Nwosu (first team all-district). There’s a total of eight seniors on the roster.
Last season, Stafford finished second in district behind Columbus, splitting two games with the Cardinals. The district remains mostly intact, with El Campo, Wharton and Needville joining while Columbus and Bellville have gone elsewhere. Stafford competed during the offseason, earning victories over several Fort Bend ISD and Houston ISD teams during a fall league.
Spivey is encouraged by the return of sophomore Denicha Pastor, last season’s district Newcomer of the Year as well as sophomore Briana Clark and senior Kaybre McFadden, both of whom earned second team all-district honors.
Stafford has several players from last season’s junior varsity team that won district.
“I think we’ll be in the mix for another 3-to-4 years,” Spivey said.
Stafford finished 7-3 in district last season, with all of those losses decided in the fourth quarter. The team reached the playoffs, losing to Sweeny in the first round.
“The team has matured, and we have learned how to win close games,” Spivey said.
Spivey is glad that this year’s team will have six non-district home games, including a Dec. 11 rematch with Sweeny. Those six home games don’t include the Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 Lady Spartan Invitational, where 13 opponents will visit Stafford for three days.
The Lady Spartans will compete in the Waller Tournament (Dec. 27-28). Stafford will open district competition on Dec. 14 at Wharton.