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Merkel's Pursley named KTXS Student-Athlete of the Week

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Merkel junior Kaydi Pursley is the player the Lady Badgers look to to shoot the important baskets -- and for good reason.

Pursley has already scored more than 1,000 points in high school, and leads Merkel with 15 points per game.

"I just try to be the best player I can be for my teammates," she said. "My teammates create a lot of those shots for me. I couldn't do it besides myself. It's all thanks to them and to coach Lange for giving those opportunities."

Her proficiency and leadership on the court are just part of the reason she earned the title of KTXS Student-Athlete of the Week.

Pursley also is ranked first in her junior class with a 101 average.

"My favorite class is physics. I have a really awesome teacher. She makes learning really fun, and I like science. That's what I want to go into when I get older -- the medical field."

"It's incredibly rewarding," first-year Merkel head girls' basketball coach Laura Lange said.

"You go into coaching hoping to make a difference in kids' lives. You hope to coach great kids, great players and Kaydi is kind of like the total package."

Pursley has helped the Lady Badgers to the second seed out of District 5-3A, including two wins over traditional power Colorado City.

During Merkel's regular season finale at Clyde, Pursley scored her 500th point of the season. However, she had no idea the milestone was so close.

Coach Lange arranged for Pursley to be distracted with an interview by KTXS so her teammates could surprise her with hand-written signs and two plaques to commemorate the occasion.

Pursley turned to her cheering friends, covered her mouth and was speechless.

Hugs were given and pictures taken. It was a moment of friendship that symbolizes a team's true bond.

"I'm really grateful for my awesome teammates that support me and give me those opportunities," said Pursley.

Merkel opens the playoffs against Coleman on Monday night at 6:00 at Winters High School.

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