The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

Who runs the world? Girls!

New girl’s basketball female head coach uplifts players

Huddled in a circle next to the court, the Jones girls’ basketball team prepares for the game ahead of them. Each lowering one hand into the center of their circle, they await their captain’s signal – “Eagles on three!” Together, they raise their hands in a synchronized motion as they make their first home appearance of the 2023-2024 season. There’s only one difference this year; for the first time in the history of the team, they are led by a female head coach and a predominantly female coaching staff. 

The new head coach, diverse learners teacher Anthie Katris, strives to be a role model for her players. In a male-dominated sports industry, she recognizes the importance of female representation. 

“I think it’s particularly important to allow our female athletes the opportunity to be inspired and positively influenced by the models that are coaching them. It gives these athletes the opportunity to see different perspectives and opportunities in sports post-high school or college,” said Katris. 

Players are adapting well to the change in coaching, holding a special appreciation for the chance to learn from leaders they can envision themselves in. 

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“I like having female coaches a lot. I feel a lot more connected with them. It’s nice to see them in a position of power and see them make such a good team,” said player Tory Smith ‘25.  

The team’s success with their new staff shows exciting promise. After a rocky ’22-’23 season, players felt unsure of how they would perform this year. However, the inspiration and skill of the new coaches appear effective thus far. 

“We’ve seen a big improvement in the team from last year in both morale and level of play,” said player Rosie Condron ‘25. “The coaches came in, admittedly saying they didn’t know anything about our team except that we’d had a rough season last year. They jumped in headfirst and they’ve been doing a great job. We’re lucky to have them.” 

The positive relationship between coaches and athletes comes as a result of an adaptable coaching style. 

“I would say my coaching style can change based on the different situations we are in. I’d like to believe I am fair, positive, and very goal-oriented,” said Katris.  “I have a knowledge of the game based on my past experiences that can really benefit these players and I’m always willing to listen and learn from them, as well.”

As a former player herself at Lawrence University, Katris offers much insight to the young team. 

“She’s really good at helping us see what we need to work on and giving us the right plays. Our plays have been effective, we’ve been winning games, and she’s just a great coach,” said Condron. 

The team aims to seal their success with a conference championship at the end of the season. However,  Katris holds larger aspirations for the future of the team. 

“My long term goal includes developing a strong program from the bottom up in order to establish a culture around a successful female program,” said Katris. “My coaching staff and I asked our athletes early in the season what their individual goals were for themselves and/or this team this season, so one of my final goals is to show them that all of those goals are attainable and within reach. I really want every individual player to know and value their role that they have on this team and feel like they are getting something positive out of being a part of our program.”

Katris and her staff’s efforts to uplift individuals do not go unnoticed by players. 

“It feels a lot more empowering this year. We have people that truly care about winning and care about us as a team. They want the best for us and they’re working for that,” said Smith. 

As Coach Katris gears up for the rest of the season, she plans to spark passion in her players both on and off the court. 

“I had a lot of coaches that inspired me at a young age,” said Katris. “I hope that my coaching staff and I can do the same for our current and future athletes.”

 

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Sadie Barash '25, Journalism II

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