COLORADO SPRINGS — For the first time since 2012, the Doherty girl's basketball team is back in the Great Eight of the 5A playoffs, much in thanks to a senior who has been leading the Spartans all season long.
"I am just super intense, I hate losing," explained Payton Sterk.
"I think it's the intensity," added teammate Gabby Beauperthuy. "She is super intense and always gets after you, but in a good way"
It isn't hard to spot the senior Sterk on the hardwood. The California State East Bay commit is on a mission to get Doherty back in elite playoff contention after losing last year in the Sweet 16.
"I think that is just part of our drive right now," explained Sterk, who eclipsed 1,000 points in her high school career earlier this season at Pine Creek. "Just not ending it like that. Because I think we know how good we are, but to be able to prove that and show we can beat those Denver schools."
P, as her teammates call her, is not only trying to lead the current Spartan team, but also the future Spartans of tomorrow.
"It's kind of like a little organization where I train kids," said Sterk, who started the camp during the COVID-19 pandemic after being forced to get a job by her parents. "I do camps every couple of Sundays during the school year and then camps during the summer during the week. I just like it because I like to coach and love to be around kids and I would like to do that in the future too. My goal is to make it bigger, so it's a big thing I could do every summer."
"You can see when her players come to her games," added Beauperthuy. "It's a bunch of little kids. It's the athletes that she trains and I think it's the cutest thing ever."
Because leaving a legacy, that is more than just wins and losses, is how Payton will leave her experiment mark.
"Kind of do whatever it takes to win but also I want to pass my knowledge down to the next generation. I think just wanting to leave that here for a better culture at Doherty."
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