As pleased as the Madison girls' basketball players are with the six-game winning streak they carry tonight into the McLean game, they can never be too satisfied. Not when their second-year coach, 1992 Madison graduate Denise Wojciech, can regale them with stories about being a member of the Warhawks teams that posted 56 consecutive victories in the early 1990s.
Having Wojciech as a link to the program's proud past is constant motivation for a team striving to return to state championship caliber. Madison won Virginia AAA titles in 1991 and '93.
"She raises the bar for us," said junior forward Leigh Kampman, who is averaging 14.6 points and 6.2 rebounds and leads the team with 17 three-pointers. "She's had that Madison kind of legacy her whole life, and I think she wants to continue that through her coaching. She'll tell us experiences from the state championship game and it makes us want it that much more because she's experienced it and we haven't."
The lone local loss for the Warhawks (11-3, 5-0 Liberty District) this season was to No. 5 West Springfield, which, coincidentally, was the team that ended Madison's 56-game winning streak in the 1992 Northern Region championship.
The team's other losses this season came to teams from California and Tennessee in a holiday tournament in Delaware. The Warhawks, who went 21-5 last year in Wojciech's first season, avenged their lone district loss from 2001-02 with a 53-47 win over Langley on Friday.
Junior forward Mary Beth Brown averages 15.6 points and 10.8 rebounds. Senior guard LaToya Walker averages 10 points and 3.1 assists.
"I feel this responsibility to maintain the level of the program," said Wojciech, who played for and assisted former Madison coach Pat Deegan, who is now at Westfield. "But I think also the girls have a lot of pride in the success of Madison, and I think they want to repeat it. There's a certain set of expectations from players and their families and the community for Madison to be successful year in, year out."
-- Preston Williams