York leads ‘hard working’ Eagles

by Levi Gilbert

The Mayflower Eagles senior girls’ basketball team is still trying to put the pieces together early this season. The starting lineup looks different than it did a year ago as the team is working to figure each other out. Senior Bella York is a key piece to the puzzle as the Eagles head toward conference play. 

“We’ve had to overcome playing with girls we’ve never played with before,” York said of the team’s early games. “I have to be a leader on and off the court. We have to work together positively and efficiently because we have never played together.”

York, a senior guard for Mayflower, was selected to this year’s 501 Basketball Team — 37 players representing the best the 501 has to offer both on and off the court. The team is sponsored by Conway Ortho and Sports Medicine, Conway Regional Health System and First Security Bank. York was nominated by her head coach, Lacy Frost.

“Bella wants everyone to feel important and as a contributor to the team,” Frost said. “She’s not solely concerned with how she performs on the court. She wants to do everything she can to help her team to improve at practice and win ball games. She has had to fill different roles from year to year, and she always buys in to that position and gives it her all.”

Last year as a junior, York helped the Eagles to a 16-12 overall record and 10-6 in 5-3A play. She averaged seven points, two steals, four rebounds and two assists per game last season. 

“She’s a good ball handler, a great 3-point shooter and great on-ball defender,” Frost said. “I expect Bella to be our leading scorer this season. She will be helping with the point guard position also. More will be expected from Bella on both ends of the court this season. She is very talented, a hard worker and motivated, so I know she will rise to the challenge.”

While York is praised as a “hard worker,” she’s quick to use that same title to describe the team as a whole. 

“The memories that will always stick with me would be how hardworking our team is,” York said. “Every year I’ve played high school basketball, we have always been undersized, but that never stops how hard we played and hustled.

“I’ve enjoyed getting to be coached by Coach Frost. She always sees the best in us and pushes us to do our very best no matter the outcome.”
York has been named all-conference the last two years in both basketball and volleyball. During basketball season, York also plays travel volleyball for Hollenball. And if you ask York, these two sports that have been such a heavy part in her past and present will also be a part of her future. 

“I plan to attend Central Baptist College where I plan to also play volleyball,” York said. “I want to then become a health and physical education teacher and a volleyball coach.”

At Mayflower High School, York is involved in Beta Club, Future Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and National Honors Society. She won first place in district, second place in regionals and won the silver medal in nationals in FCCLA Star Events. 

Bella is also heavily integrated into the Mayflower community. 

“Bella volunteers at her church, First Baptist Church, helping with Awana, Mission Mayflower where her group went around the community and did yard work for elderly citizens in need, serving food and teaching verses,” Frost said. “She also volunteers in the nursery at her church.

When a devastating tornado hit Mayflower, Bella helped with the tornado relief effort. She helped with collecting and sorting donated items, and she delivered items to those in need.”

York and the Eagles play host to Rose Bud at 5 p.m. Monday.