March 17, 2022

“Defensive Player Specialist”

Casper Classical Academy Student Receives Special Award from the Women’s Basketball Association

Maren Hayward received the Women’s Basketball Association Defensive Player Specialist Award!

The award is one of four top WBA awards honoring the success of a current female basketball player whose name and school will be placed permanently on the High School Girl Basketball Wall of Fame in the WBA Hall of Fame Room at the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Before her time as an NCSD educator, Sheryl Schroefel dedicated her time and talents from 1998 to 2000 as a player in the Women’s Basketball Association as a defensive star playing for the Oklahoma Cougars. The Sheryl Schroefel Women’s Basketball Association Defensive Player Specialist Award celebrates and honors her contributions to women’s basketball during that time. 

Presenting her namesake award was a special moment to Ms. Shroefel as it honors the time and dedication of the awarded student and all those who have played the game before her, “This award, it’s like a legacy, it’s a dynasty. It’ll be up there the entire time over in Kansas City at the museum. There’s a dedicated room with the history of the WBA. I think that there’s an incentive there for athletes; they are displaying their skills. That recognition goes a long way. How much effort and work they’ve put into basketball. This award recognizes that.” 

This lunchtime surprise certainly caught Maren off guard, appreciative and humbled; she was at a loss for words. “It’s unbelievable. I’m so happy. I’m speechless, and I was really surprised. I’ve been playing basketball since 2nd grade and will play for Kelly Walsh in high school,” shared Maren. Quick to acknowledge those who contributed to her success, Maren spoke of the team dynamics of the sport and what it means to her to receive this award, “It was hard for women to play basketball. It wasn’t always easy. Receiving this award, I’m just speechless. Sportsmanship is huge. Being a team player, first, you have to work hard on yourself to make sure you’re good for your team. Be a team player get along with everyone. When your team clicks, it’s how you win. Basketball is a team sport. You always pick each other up when you’re down.”

Coach Schroefel chose Hayward for this award not only due to her exceptional athletic abilities but also because of who she is as a student-athlete and team player, “She is a team player, she is a leader. She gets people involved. She’s coachable. I believe she’s the best player for this award. She’s put a lot of time and effort into basketball since second grade, and it shows. I’m happy I’m able to do this and hand out awards like this and give women another opportunity to show and display their abilities.”  

Congratulations to Sheryl Schroefel and Maren Hayward on this incredible recognition and award honoring your successes and positive contributions to your community on and off the court.