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New coach brings hope for girls’ basketball teams

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New coach brings hope for girls’ basketball teams

The girls’ varsity  basketball team huddles before their league match-up against Oak Ridge High School.

The girls’ varsity basketball team huddles before their league match-up against Oak Ridge High School.

Special to the Gazette/ Glen Peach

The girls’ varsity basketball team huddles before their league match-up against Oak Ridge High School.

Special to the Gazette/ Glen Peach

Special to the Gazette/ Glen Peach

The girls’ varsity basketball team huddles before their league match-up against Oak Ridge High School.

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  This year the girls’ basketball program has experienced some big changes. The coaching staff for girls basketball was revamped, leaving all teams with new opportunities as well as struggles.

  Paul Shafto stepped up to be the head varsity girls’ coach and is in charge of the girls basketball program.

  “Deciding to apply for the head coaching job wasn’t completely easy,” Shafto said. “I really enjoyed being an assistant Varsity Boys coach and coaching 8th grade boys at Olympus.”

  Shafto has been coaching boys for many years and decided to take on the challenge of coaching girls.

  “Even though I felt real comfortable doing those jobs, I felt like it’d be a great opportunity for me to grow as a person and a great challenge to take over the program,” Shafto said.

  Shafto has strong goals and high hopes for the program.

I would love for the girls’ program to be recognized on campus as a competitive team, and a place where girls feel like they’re welcomed and make connections with players and coaches that’ll help them throughout their life,”

— Paul Shafto

   “I would love for the girls’ program to be recognized on campus as a competitive team, and a place where girls feel like they’re welcomed and make connections with players and coaches that’ll help them throughout their life,” Shafto said.

   Even though Shafto has been a coach for numerous years, he still experiences struggles.

  “I think the hardest thing about being an off-campus coach is not having the opportunity to build a bigger connection with the players because they’re not in your class or just see them on campus on a daily basis,” Shafto said.  

   Senior Peyton Mitcheom has been playing basketball for all four years of high school, so receiving new coaches was an adjustment.

  “It’s definitely been a huge change because we are being introduced to an all new offense and a different style of playing than we were used to,” Mitcheom said. “Many varsity teams have been running the same plays since the freshman and JV levels so that gives them a little bit of an advantage, but I like the aggressive and intense style we are playing.”

  Jaclyn Ohlsen is a junior this year and decided to play at the junior varsity level again.

“It was great to get new voices in the program and fresh faces,” Ohlsen said. “It helped getting into a new routine.”

  Junior varsity has been undergoing a new playing style as well due to their new coaches.

  “I think there are always benefits from new coaches because you get to experience a different kind of play,” Ohlsen said.

 Despite a positive change for junior varsity basketball, they still have faced many struggles.

  “I think the hardest thing was just to get to know each other and know what each the coaches and players expectation was,” Ohlsen said.

  Although freshmen are new to the program and are unaware of how the girls basketball program was before, they have learned to adapt from middle school basketball to high school basketball.

Overall I really think our coaches are positive role models and are doing a great job of preparing us for the future, on and off the court,”

— Emily Jetpur

  “Overall I really think our coaches are positive role models and are doing a great job of preparing us for the future, on and off the court,” freshman Emmy Jetpur said.

 As the season continues, the freshmen girls’ basketball team has been working to prepare for the next level.

 “I do think we are being prepared for JV and Varsity because our coaches set high standards that we have succeeded over the span of the season,” Jetpur said.

  The freshman girls will be prepared for the varsity level by learning the offense and style of play this year and continue working on it for the next three years.

  So far, all three basketball teams have encountered many ups and downs, but in the end the change within the girls’ basketball program has been very successful.

  Shafto often uses a quote by Albert Hubbard to guide his philosophy of hard work on and off the court.

  “The man who has no more problems to solve, is out of the game.”

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About the Writer
Sydney Herrenschmidt, Staff writer

Sydney is a senior, and this is her first year on the Gazette/GBT.org staff.

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New coach brings hope for girls’ basketball teams