Davidson Day junior Katy Leonard isn't even sure what position she plays on the basketball court.
"I think it's called a shooting guard," the 17-year-old said. "I didn't even know there were positions in basketball until this year."
Leonard is one of the six players who stepped up last year to be a part of the school's first basketball squad. Without that team, Davidson Day wouldn't have received NCISAA accreditation and couldn't have played any other sport competitively.
"For the last two years I've called them the most important program in the school," said Davidson Day's athletic director and girls' basketball coach Kevin Buechler.
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Buechler explained that he approached athletes at the school to see who wanted to play basketball after being hired two years ago.
"From the first day I took the job it was finding really any girl who was interested in being a part of it," he admits.
Buechler said that the year before his arrival, the school had tried to put together a team but didn't have enough people to play.
Buechler's original team was made up of volleyball, soccer and tennis players as well as a couple of middle school-aged players, many of whom didn't have much basketball experience.
He said that inexperience limited what he could teach them, adding that he would emphasize one or two skills that the team could feel success with and build upon.
Last year, the team went 0-11 playing against tough competition such as Victory Christian and United Faith - some of the most competitive programs in 1A/2A NCISAA basketball.
Senior Katy Burr said she learned a lot going through that season.
"Even though you lose, you have to keep your head up every time and not put your head down in any situation because that doesn't help," she said.
Buechler said he has been surprised by how his players, who he described as self-conscious and a little afraid to play when the team first formed, reacted to the tough season.
"What's come out of it is a mental toughness that I don't think they knew they had," he said.
Because of their inexperience, the team has formed an uncommon philosophy.
"Our goal was never to win but to improve in something every game," said senior Elizabeth Buehler. "Overall that's helped us because we've improved a lot from last year and even from the beginning of the season until now."
Buechler explained that this philosophy, combined with hard work and a few additions to the team, has contributed to the team's improvement. But he explained that the fact that his players get along so well has been key.
"You've got this comradery where they pick each other up when they're down, and there's a spirit that runs through them that trickles through the rest of the school," Buechler said.
But Leonard said she thought the key for the team's development has been not taking themselves too seriously.
"We don't really care that we're really small or that none of us have played," she said. "We just go out there and are really good sports about it."
This season's opener was special for the team because they won their first game in school history when they defeated Raleigh's Trinity Academy 38-24.
"It was a blast," said Buechler. "It was nice getting a win, but I think what has been better for them is that teams that they were getting crushed by last year we've been in competitive games with this year."
The Patriots, which are 1-11 this season, have improved offensively, but their defensive improvement is what has been most impressive.
"They're just annoying," Buechler said of the Patriots' defense. "They're so aggressive and quick that we're keeping some good teams to some of their lowest outputs of the year."
Buechler said this year's team, which is comprised of 11 girls ranging from seventh- to- 12th grade, could have four college athletes on its roster - but all in something other than basketball. He said he's proud that they all have decided to keep playing on the basketball court.
"They're still out there as juniors and seniors playing to support the younger girls going up but also to support all the athletics at the school."