By Matthew Girard
Killeen Daily Herald
Danika Dale gave the Shoemaker Lady Grey Wolves' basketball program another first on Monday, as the 6-foot-1, Liberty University-bound senior was named to the 2008 Texas Girls Coaches Association All-State team.
"I had a really good season last year, but this year everything has happened for me," Dale said about making the All-State team. "It's just been great."
Dale was also tabbed to play in the annual TGCA All-Star basketball game July 10 at UT-Arlington.
"It's very exciting because we got Danika at the end of her freshman year and to see her grow into the player that she is," Shoemaker coach Shauna Showers said. "She's also brought dedication and determination to our program, and our program has grown as she has grown throughout the years. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving young lady."
During her senior season, Dale averaged a double-double with 17.6 points and 11 rebounds per game and led the Lady Grey Wolves back to the state playoffs for the first time in three years. Dale also became the first player for the Lady Grey Wolves to be named District 13-5A Most Valuable Player after leading Shoemaker to a fourth-place finish a year after only winning one league game.
Dale said she was proud to be the first for the Lady Grey Wolves.
"People always ask me 'Do you go to Harker Heights, or Bryan?' And I say 'No. I go to Shoemaker,'" Dale said. "I guess they don't expect much from Shoemaker, but this is not only a big step for me but for Shoemaker athletics."
Showers said Dale's accomplishments has given Shoemaker a boost.
"I think we've taken the first step to get back on the right track," Showers said. "With Danika's success has added to our success with motivating girls to know that if they work hard, that good things can come."
Although Dale couldn't lead the Grey Wolves to a playoff win, Showers has no doubt Dale will do well in this summer's all-star game.
"It's a team made up of the best players in the state of Texas and that in itself is just an accomplishment," Showers said. "I think she will be able to hold her own. Just looking at the girls that have also made the team, she is as good or better than the girls that will play on the all-star team."
Contact Matthew Girard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569.