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Ms. Sonora "Nono" Edwards

624 Beaver Creek Drive
Caldwell, Texas 77836


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Email: edwards_s20@yahoo.com

Women’s Basketball: Hard-working UL senior about to make history

Joshua Parrott

Sonora Edwards laughs after explaining how her teammates on the UL women’s basketball team react when she tells them about life back in her hometown of Snook, Texas.
Let’s just say the little Texas town is far from life in the big city. Known for its two steakhouses, Snook (pop. 568) is located 12 miles southwest of College Station and 77 miles east of Austin.

“They look at me crazy when I tell them about cutting the yard riding a tractor, throwing hay and throwing feed,” said the soft-spoken senior. “The last time I went home, my grandpa had me change the oil in his truck.

“He puts me to work whenever I’m home.”
Edwards does plenty of work on the court, too.

Earlier this season, the 6-foot-2 center moved into second place in program history for career rebounds (794). She entered this week as the second-leading rebounder in the Sun Belt this season at 8.3 rebounds per game and fourth in the conference in minutes played per game (34.65). She’s also averaging 10.7 points – third-best for the Cajuns this season.

Now Edwards sits on the cusp of history in another category. Despite battling knee and ankle injuries throughout her career, she needs nine points to become the 13th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points.

Her next chance to go into the record books comes at 7 tonight as the Cajuns (6-21 overall, 2-14 SBC) play host to North Texas (13-15, 8-8) at Earl K. Long Gym. After Edwards considered playing volleyball and basketball at Grambling, it appears she made the right choice to focus on basketball at UL.

First-year UL coach Errol Rogers said Edwards has left a positive mark on a program.

“I’ve only had her for one year, but I’d love to have her for another,” Rogers said. “Another year with her, and she’d probably be the best in this league. The last couple games she’s playing almost 40 minutes a game. She comes to work every day and works hard.

“She means a lot to this program. Whatever she does in life she’s going to be very successful.”

This season, though, has been a difficult test for Edwards as the Cajuns have struggled without a consistent presence at point guard and a lack of depth in the post. Last season, Edwards averaged 10.2 points and 8.1 rebounds for a UL team that won the Sun Belt’s West Division title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

But after going 25-9 overall and 14-4 in West Division play last season, the Cajuns currently sit in last place in the West with two games to go in the regular season.

Even with this season’s frustrations, UL senior Alicia McDaniel said Edwards always gave everything she had every night.

“She’s got the heart,” McDaniel said. “It’s hard to body up with those big girls every night. She wants the ball every time. I believe she could be the best post person in the league if she set her mind to it.

“She’s the heart of our defense and rebounding.”

And when her playing days are over, Edwards will carry that dedication with her into life after basketball.

“I know I’m going to have to work hard if I want anything,” Edwards said. “I have to work hard on the court and off it and remember not to ever give up.”

Daily Advertiser, February 27, 2008

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Sonora Edwards: Student Athlete Showcase on RaginCajuns.com

Sonora Edwards

Courtesy RaginCajuns.com Click on www.RaginCajuns.com for more information

You are approaching 1,000 points in your career. What does that milestone mean to you?

It’s a great accomplishment to have because not everyone has that opportunity. It’s a blessing.

As a senior, you have been a part of some of the most successful seasons of Ragin’ Cajuns basketball. What has the experience of winning two Sun Belt Conference Western Division titles and an NCAA Regional appearance mean to you?

Those experiences have shown us what it takes to get that far. Since we know what it takes, we work harder to get further because we aren’t happy with just what we have accomplished. We want to go further!

What were your personal goals for the season?

I want to get stronger; have better stats than the previous years; and be named All-Sun Belt Conference.

As a leader on this team, how have you tried to guide some of the younger players?

You have to be encouraging. It can be hard to adjust to the collegiate level, so any encouragement is good. You also have to lead by example because they are looking up to you.

Tell the story of how you got one visible scar.

I have a lot of scars from basketball, but I have one scar on my left eyebrow. I was younger when I had to get stitches because I cut my eyebrow while I was crossing a bob-wired fence to get to my grandpa so I could drive the tractor! To this day many people notice that scar before any other one.

When my playing days are over, I want to be remembered as…

I want to be remembered as a respectful and hard working player. I also want to be remembered as a great rebounder!!

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I am very outgoing COUNTRY GIRL. I enjoy listening to music (especially old school R&B), dancing, and playing dominoes.

What made you want to play basketball?

I was blessed with an opportunity to have my education paid for. When I was younger, I didn’t want to play because I was lazy, but my parents told me to try it and I ended up liking it.

What is your most memorable moment on the basketball court?

My most memorable moment has to be when I made the winning shot against Arkansas State in the semi-final game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in 2007.

December 2007 Courtesy RaginCajuns.com

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Women’s Basketball: Edwards helps Cajun women pull off win

December 31, 2005 – Dan McDonald

Sonora Edwards didn’t get a halftime lecture from coach J. Kelley Hall on going to the backboards harder Friday night.
“He said he couldn’t decide what we needed to talk about,” Edwards said of the University of Louisiana coach’s locker-room talk, “because there were so many areas in which we needed to step up.”

Edwards knew rebounding was one of those areas, and she took that to heart. Because of that, the Ragin’ Cajun women’s basketball team kept the nation’s fifth-longest home winning streak intact.

Edwards tied a career high with 18 points, several of them on offensive-rebound putbacks in the second half, and the Cajuns rallied for a 64-56 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Earl K. Long Gym.
UL (10-2) trailed the heavy-underdog Golden Lions 28-25 at halftime, mostly due to UAPB’s non-stop pressure defense that eventually forced 22 turnovers.

“This was a very uninspired effort. We weren’t ready to play,” Hall said. “But give Pine Bluff some credit for that. Their defense is outstanding.”

“We really haven’t played a team quicker than us, and that pressed that much,” said Edwards, who also had nine rebounds, two blocks, two assists and hit a pair of 3-pointers. “We had a hard time adjusting to it.”

The Lions forced 10 Cajun turnovers in the game’s first 12 minutes, and then hit four straight jumpers late in the half in a 9-3 run that built the three-point halftime lead. UL shot only 34.6 percent (9-of-26) from the floor in the first 20 minutes.

It was still a three-point game when Onna Charles picked off a steal and converted a three-point play for the first of eight straight points by the New Iberia product in a 2:30 span.

Two minutes later, Edwards hit a jumper in the lane for a 40-39 lead with 11:46 left to key a 9-0 run, one she finished with a putback for a 47-39 lead with 8:37 left.

Charles finished with 16 of her 18 points in the second half, hitting 6-of-9 from the field.

“Sonora stepped up big for us in the second half and had some key putbacks,” Hall said, “and Onna shot it a lot better in the second half.”

UL finished with 15 offensive rebounds – actually one less that UAPB – but was able to get six putbacks in the second half to one for the visitors.

“Their second chances hurt us. Their big people killed us inside,” said UAPB coach Danny Evans. “That was the tale of the game. We couldn’t overcome that.”

Natural freshman Arica Green, a transfer from Dillard in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, came off the bench for 15 points and 11 rebounds. Chekesha Johnson also had 15, but the rest of the Golden Lions were only 9-of-34 from the field.

That left a lot of rebounds for Edwards and Sherita Anderson, who had a career-high eight.

“They did an outstanding job,” Hall said, “and they had to with Yolanda (Jones) in foul trouble.”

UAPB went on a 9-3 run to slice the margin to 59-54 at the 1:13 mark, with Green getting six of those points, but Charles banged in a 3-pointer from the right wing 12 seconds later to insure UL’s 21st straight home-floor win.

Originally published December 31, 2005

Basketball: Texas native will get support for road games

December 01, 2005 –
Edwards and Cajun women face Prairie View tonight.

Bruce Brown

Sonora Edwards will feel right at home this weekend.
Although the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns face road games at 6 p.m. tonight at Prairie View A&M and at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sam Houston State, Edwards will have her fair share of supporters on hand.

“I’ve heard from old classmates and old teachers,” said Edwards, who starred at Somerville High School in Snook, Texas. “They’ve been e-mailing me, telling me they were coming. And I know my family will be there.

“It’s good to have fans when you go on the road.”
The weekend trip gives the Cajuns four games this week (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) before breaking for semester finals.

“I need to study,” junior forward Yolanda Jones said. “It’s hard to be an athlete and a student. I guess what doesn’t kill us only makes us better. That exam break is going to be well-earned.”

“It’s kind of tough, having six games in two weeks,” point guard Ashley Blanche said. “When you have school and basketball, you get tired. But you can’t think like that.

“You have to focus. You have to pay attention to your schoolwork away from the court, and play as hard as you can in practice and in games. You go day by day.”

Cajun coach J. Kelley Hall knows it’s a grind for his team, but he wants his players’ minds clear for exams next week. After Saturday, the squad won’t play again until hosting LSU-Shreveport on Dec. 12, seeking a 20th straight win at Earl K. Long Gym.

“The season is so short, and you’ve got to get so many games in,” Hall said. “And you need to give the kids a break at Christmas. Both of these games are return games from last season, and the two schools worked with us so we could get this done on one trip.”

The Cajuns improved to 4-1 with Tuesday’s 78-57 home victory over Texas Southern, pulling away from a 42-33 halftime edge with a solid defensive effort in the second half.

Jones had 25 points and 14 rebounds in that game, earning praise from Hall.

“Yolanda has become more and more coachable,” Hall said. “She had a career night against Texas Southern, including playing outstanding defense, and has done everything we’ve asked.”

Onna Charles came up with 13 points to support Jones as the Cajuns hit 25-of-68 from the field and 21-of-29 from the free throw line.

“We did better on our shooting,” said Edwards. “There’s still more to work on, but it was better.”

The Cajuns were coming off a double-overtime 65-61 Sunday win over Texas-El Paso, with the extra periods made necessary largely because of poor UL shooting.

Prairie View enters tonight’s game with a 1-2 record under first-year coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, defeating Texas-Pan American 67-66 in its opener before losing 78-46 to Texas State and 75-54 in a return bout with UTPA.

Ciara Sanders is averaging 18.7 points and has 11 steals for this year’s Lady Panthers.

In last year’s meeting, Anna Petrakova had 17 points, 13 rebounds and a school-record 10 blocked shots in 23 minutes as the Cajuns throttled PV, 85-24.

Originally published December 1, 2005

Basketball: Edwards making strides for Cajuns

November 20, 2005 – Bruce Brown

It’s hard enough to make the step from high school to college basketball if you’re healthy. If you’re not, the task becomes that much tougher.
University of Louisiana sophomore Sonora Edwards has had more than her share of health issues to start the 2005-2006 season, but the 6-foot-2 center is finally starting to find her rhythm.

Edwards pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds in the Nov. 11 season opener at SMU and will continue to be an ever-growing presence for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who host Hampton University at 3 p.m. today at Earl K. Long Gym.

“When the season started, I was weak and had migraine headaches,” Edwards said. “Then I got that under control, and I rolled my ankle. And my left knee has been weak. I’ve been getting treatment on it.
“It’s been a hard time.”

Edwards’ development is crucial for the Cajuns, who lost standouts Anna Petrakova and Tiffany Washington from the 22-9 squad of a year ago and need replacements in the inside game.

“It’s been hard for Sonora,” coach J. Kelley Hall said. “She hasn’t really been healthy yet. It’s been one thing and another. But she played well against SMU and had the best rebounding game of her career.”

“I’ve had to put my priorities straight,” Edwards said. “I’m here to get my education, and I’m here to do what I can for the team.

“Everyone brings something different to the team. I put myself after the team, because the team needs you.”

Hall sees some of the same qualities in Edwards that he saw in a young Petrakova, and so has asked the Snook, Texas, product to use the former UL star as a model. That may take a bit more assertiveness from the team-oriented Edwards.

“I don’t think about minutes (played),” she said. “I just do what I can to help the team. Coach told me to look back at Anna’s statistics, and try and aim for that.

“Rebounding is definitely my strong point. Rebounding is about hustling for the ball, and if you want to go get it. I’m not as good offensively as I need to be. I need to build my offensive game.”

That would be a surprise to opponents who faced Edwards when she was a multi-spot star at Somerville High School. She averaged 21.6 points and 13 rebounds as a senior, scoring a career-high 46 points and hauling down an eye-popping 31 rebounds against Refugio High. She was her district’s offensive and defensive player of the year as a senior.

She also excelled in volleyball and golf.

But she quickly realized there was work to be done to raise her game to a similarly dominant level in college.

“I’m more in shape than last year, and stronger,” Edwards said. “I’m quick on my feet, although not as quick as I need to be. It’s an entirely different game than in high school.”

Most days in practice, Edwards is pitted against senior center Sherita Anderson, a pairing that improves both of their games.

“We both play the ‘5’ position, so we go against each other in practice,” Edwards said. “She gives me a workout. We encourage each other. Some people battle for a position and they don’t talk to each other, but we don’t let that come between us.

“We keep inspiring each other.”

Edwards and the Cajuns need to get back on track with today’s game against Hampton, the first of four home games in the next nine days.

UL will seek a better offensive showing than in the 53-45 loss to SMU, although the Cajuns did out-rebound the Mustangs 52-46, while Hampton is coming off a deceptive 77-47 loss at Richmond in its opener.

“They’re like us in some ways,” Hall said. “They have a lot of young players, and they’re athletic. Out of their top 11 players, six are freshman and four are sophomores.”

Chief among those for the Lady Pirates is 2005 MEAC Rookie of the Year Rachel Butler, who wears No. 1 and plays like it.

“We’ll have to look for her in transition,” Hall said. “She’s got Whitney (Dunlap) range and can shoot the 3. We’ll have to let others try to beat us outside.”

“I expect them to be very athletic,” Edwards said. “I know they have a good team.”

“Richmond has seven of its top eight returning from a 23-win NCAA Tournament team, and got on Hampton early,” Hall said. “Hampton actually played better than the score would indicate.”

Hall’s Cajuns plan to play better, period.

“I hope to go farther than we did last year,” Edwards said. “I want us to go as far as we possibly can in the NCAA Tournament.

“But this is a whole new team from last year. We have to play the cards we’re dealt. Two of our guards (Jeanenne Colbert, Elaine McCants) got injured in that automobile wreck, so we’ve adapted to the talent we have. There’s not anybody (else) coming, so we’ll do what we have to do.”

Edwards, for one, is ready to do that.

Originally published November 20, 2005