Let me start by saying I am the head coach of the best high school girls basketball team in the state of Washington. I have some of the hardest-working players in the state. They show up every day to lift weights, run, practice skills and game prep. I have girls who are great role models in their school, and community. They play for each other and for their school colors. I have players who will go to college, and the armed forces. One wants to be a pediatric oncologist, one a physical therapist, and one a United States Air Force Officer, amongst other well-respected professions.
I am the head girls basketball coach at Mariner High School. If you haven’t already figured out, my girls are special individuals, especially my seniors. I have seven seniors on my team, the most in 20 years at Mariner. Of the seven seniors, six are four-year players, the other, a three-year senior who moved away and came back. These girls are smart with a combined GPA over 3.5. They take advanced placement courses, leadership classes, running start classes and are involved in clubs within their high school. These girls don’t win much on the basketball court. In the 70-plus games they’ve played at Mariner, they have never been the favorite, but they work just as hard as any other team in the state despite their win/loss record.
About a month ago, I approached the sports department at the Herald about writing an article regarding my team. The sports department thought that writing an article about my team might embarrass my team and bring attention to girls who haven’t won in more than a season. My question to them is why focus on the winning on the scoreboard? Doesn’t The Herald write about super kids doing great things all the time? In many cases, these girls have already won. They are going to graduate high school and go to college, they’ve created life-long friendships with teammates and coaches, they’ve learned how to be leaders and good role models, how to handle adversity and overcome obstacles. Why not focus on loyalty, commitment and teamwork? Why does the scoreboard get to decide if these players/students/role models/girls are winners? Why does The Herald sports department get to define if my players are winners?
In 11 seasons as a head coach, I’ve never had the privilege of coaching a group of girls like this. They’ve earned my utmost respect and admiration by showing great character and continuing to strive and be the best people and players they can be regardless of the score.
Proudest Coach in the State
Mariner High School