Warren County High School senior and standout basketball player Elsa Eckenrod signed Thursday, taking her game and education to the next level at Maryville College next year.
“I’m so excited. I went up there and the team was so nice. They win a lot up there so I’m excited about that,” Eckenrod said. “I was going to go there for school no matter what, and the coach messaged me and said ‘Hey do you want to be a part of our team?’ and it did work out.”
Eckenrod has been in a leadership role for the Lady Pioneers, contributing as top scorer on numerous occasions and also playing all-around basketball, providing support on defense, in transition and setting up the inside play. Eckenrod averaged 10 points per game, 1.1 assists, and 6 rebounds during her senior year.
“It’s a good fit for her. She wanted to go to this school first and wasn’t even thinking about ball, but it just worked out they were interested in her playing too so it’s just a wonderful deal,” said mom Kelly Eckenrod.
The Eckenrods are an all-around basketball family, as Kelly Eckenrod is a basketball coach, but according to the coach, Elsa gets her mean streak from her father.
“That’s how she learned to be aggressive on the hardwood,” coach Eckenrod said. “Her father made her tough.”
Eckenrod plans on pursuing a major in American sign language for her future studies.
“It’s something she’s mentioned since she was little that was a goal for her and I think everything has a way of working out like it’s supposed to,” said Warren County High School basketball coach Shea Panter “Elsa was planning on going to school at Maryville already and then she went for a visit and the coach asked to talk to her and the stars aligned and this worked out to be a good opportunity for her.”
In the meantime, the Lady Pioneers have some senior shoes to fill as Eckenrod, Anna Bain, Rylan Moore and Jayden Smith all graduate this year.
“She had a lot of experience we leaned on this year and it will be different playing without her and we’ll definitely look like a different team but Elsa played her part and hopefully we learned from her leadership and the role she played on our team and others will be willing to step up and fill in and take the lead,” Panter said.