To continue the accomplishments and legacies of previous coaches, the athletics department introduced Ben Barnett, seventh grade English teacher and Max Schwartz, eighth grade social studies teacher to the junior varsity boys and girls basketball teams respectively. Furthermore, the junior varsity cheerleading team welcomed Paula Scott, fourth grade teacher, as its new coach. Along with newly introduced coaches, Chris Koester, science teacher, moved up to coach the varsity girls basketball team, after having spent the past year coaching the junior varsity team.
“I was asked by [Sean Syverson, former junior varsity boys basketball coach] if I could take over as coach starting this season,” Coach Barnett said. “I enjoy coaching basketball and watching young players grow and improve their basketball skills. I want to see if I can continue to carry on the success that [Coach] Syverson secured in the boys basketball program in previous years.”
With new coaches supervising sports teams, different coaching styles have influenced practices and games from the beginning of the season. According to Lauren Ahn (11), varsity girls basketball team captain, Coach Koester has successfully unified the team in order to increase cooperation and teamwork.
“Overall, communication between the players and the coach increased dramatically,” Lauren said. “I talk often about our own players, our team, and upcoming games with my teammates and [Coach] Koester, which did not occur often in previous years. He also coaches very differently in that he subs five people at a time. This is good for all of the girls because not all of us, including me, have great stamina.”
Cheerleading teams are also taking a more competitive approach this year in an attempt to achieve better results than last year. Having been selected through a new tryout procedure, the cheerleaders are now practicing jump drills and intense stretches in preparation for advanced stunts and tumbling. With Coach Scott now leading the junior varsity team, the mindset of the cheerleaders has changed as well.
“I would love the cheerleaders to be more visible during the day,” Coach Scott said. “I want to see them serve as leaders of school spirit in the SIS community, and to not only be cheerleaders of the basketball team, but also be cheerleaders serving the entire school community by boosting school spirit among students. I am really excited to have the opportunity to become involved in cheerleading, because it is these types of activities that boost school spirit and that is really what makes high school fun. I hope that [the cheerleaders] can become a family that supports each other, and be able to achieve the results that they aim for in the KAIAC competition.”