Sarah Walker precisely knew Madison Troll’s skill set. But that wasn’t because Walker — the Arvada-Clearmont High School girls basketball head coach — helped fine tune Troll’s game during countless hours of practice. Walker knew Troll’s tendencies because she had to figure out ways to scheme against her when AC and Kaycee squared off.
For the past two-and-a-half seasons, Troll played for the Lady Buckaroos, finding weakness and holes in the Lady Panthers’ defense. Now, she dons the AC blue and gold, helping the Lady Panthers best teams like Kaycee in the race for a conference crown.
Troll isn’t alone in the transfer department. Brooke Worman also switched teams, coming from Laramie, and both girls have produced for the Lady Panthers.
Troll attended AC until eighth grade when she and her family moved to Kaycee. The Trolls moved back to Clearmont this past fall, but Madison Troll elected to remain in school at Kaycee. That required nearly two hours of drive time each way, and that soon became too much for the junior.
“Driving two hours in the morning and every night was kind of rough,” Troll said. “… I had to stay up later to do homework and get up way earlier to drive to school.”
After about a month of that long commute, Troll and Mike Saures — AC’s athletic director — filled out a transfer application that would allow Troll, who was now enrolled at AC, to compete for the Lady Panthers right away. The Wyoming High School Athletic Association reviewed the initial application and denied Troll.
In the official rule book, if a student-athlete transfers from one to school to another without a corresponding change of address, they will have to sit out of athletic competition for 12 months. Since Troll moved but still attended school in Kaycee for a period of time, her initial transfer application to play immediately wasn’t accepted.
“When I got the news I was like, ‘Well, what I’m going to do with my time now,’” Troll said. “It was kind of frustrating, for sure.”
Upon resubmitting her application, Troll and Sauers provided more proof of why she wanted to transfer and play right away and the WHSAA accepted it.
Since that time, Troll has worked to find a role on her new team, and that wasn’t too difficult.
“One of the conversations I had with her, I said, ‘Maddi, you just have to play the way I didn’t want you to play when I was coaching against you,’” Walker said. “‘I wanted her to be the kid that I had to figure out how to stop.”
Troll has taken that to heart and has played a more post-oriented role. She collects a team-high 10.5 rebounds per game to go alongside her 8.3 points per contest. Worman, on the other hand, has resided mostly along the perimeter. She’s drained a team-best 20 shots from beyond the 3-point line, as she’s averaging 8.4 points per game.
Worman’s transfer application to play immediately was more straightforward. With her family moving from Laramie to Clearmont, there wasn’t any gray area and no reason for WHSAA to turn down her application.
Worman has thrived at the 1A level, and she credits her time in Wyoming’s largest classification as a big reason to her success.
“It was quicker and everything was a lot higher intensity in Laramie,” Worman said, “I’m a lot more confident now since I have a bigger role here. I just have been able to do a lot more things on defense and offense that I never got the chance to do in Laramie, so it has really built my confidence up.”
Worman has given the Lady Panthers more backcourt depth and stretches the defense quite a bit with her ability to knock down outside shots. She also brought a team-first mentality from day one that impressed Walker.
“She stepped onto the team and wrote down some goals, and she said, ‘To give my teammates assists and to pick my teammates up when they’re struggling,’” Walker said. “For me as a coach, that’s what you want — a kid that’s selfless and isn’t there to score this many points or get this many rebounds or whatever it is.
“Her two goals were about her teammates, and I feel that was a piece we were missing and didn’t realize we were missing it.”
Worman, Troll and the rest of the Lady Panthers are off to a 12-5 start, which includes a 5-0 mark in conference play. The two have fit in seamlessly for an AC squad that’s chasing its second consecutive conference crown.