A thank you from the coach of the 2018-19 District 10 5A Champions

The Warren girls basketball team hoists the District 10 trophy after beating Slippery Rock on Saturday.

What. A. Season. It is really hard to put into words how proud I am of all fifteen of you young ladies. I wanted to take a moment and do my best to describe to others how amazing this entire season was for all of us and to thank so many that helped along the way.

First obviously the girls. When we started our season, I am certain that VERY few thought we would have the season we just experienced. 22-4!? I mean really?! We were suppose to be rebuilding with more first year players than returners. Nobody told you guys that though. You just went to work and believed in each other. We started with two awesome months of summer workouts and a trip that took us through West Middlesex, Mount Union, Cincinnati, Ohio and Indiana. You have to play against the absolute best if you want to be the best, our travels through the years have set us up perfectly to compete at a higher level! It isn’t enough to just play the best either, you have to be willing to take your knocks, get back up and work harder to improve. You all did that!

As I have told you before this program is not for the weak. We work. We demand a lot and this program is not easy to play for, however there is a draw to play for a program that has such lofty goals. We don’t settle. We don’t rest on past achievements. Only the strong survive! We went to work this season… while we were working we had a TON of fun! We shared many laughs for many reasons.

I cannot thank each of you enough for accepting your roles. In today’s world so many kids do not want to accept their role unless it is glamorous… unless it is high profile. Each of you accepted what your role was and worked hard to build upon your role and make it bigger (As we say, ‘Accept the role you have and work for the role you want’). That is what made us a great team! The society we live in today is all about instant gratification, many times kids think they don’t have to work to win. We know better, it takes a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. What a great life lessons to move on with… To be successful in life you don’t just show up to school, you don’t just show up to your job… well you can do that, but don’t expect to be anything more than just average. To be good, you have to work! To be great, you have to be dedicated to the process, you can’t cut corners… you have to grind. AND GRIND YOU DID! You all know how I feel about you. And I hope you all know what you mean to each other. I appreciate each and everyone of you… and I love you!

To the parents, I could not have asked for a better group! Thank you so much for supporting your daughters and supporting our coaching staff. It is amazing what a program can do when we are all pulling in the same direction. Thank you for being so supportive. Thank you for just enjoying the moment and enjoying your kids play. I thank you so much for trusting me and trusting our coaching staff to do what was best for the team and your girls. Again I don’t think you realize how much that made our season so much more successful. Thank you for supporting your daughters with the role that they had on this team.

Thank you to our community. I absolutely adored how all of you rallied behind us as we made this run. It really made me happy to look up into the stands and see all of you there. It was also nice to see the support grow through the years since I know there were a lot more of you this time than last time we won our D-10 championship. That means the world to me as a female and a coach to young females. It feels like our small rural community is not only starting to see how many awesome female athletes we have, but you are also rallying behind them! Our female athletic programs have really blossomed into absolute powers in District 10! Your support was GREATLY appreciated. Thank you to 104.3 for all the awesome coverage of games and allowing our community to follow from home.

To my coaching staff… We are here because of you! I cannot thank each of you enough for all your hard work and dedication. John and Jessica we have been together this entire ride, so thankful for that! We have a lot more left to do! Kristie and Taylor there will never be enough words to describe how proud I am to have two former players on my bench. And to Jasper, it has been real big guy and I am so glad you are going out on top! You will be missed. I also want to thank my extended coaches. Those that help with other aspects of the program and with film; Matt Madigan, Steve Parinella, Carissa Stuart, Jenny Phillips, Eric and Todd Mineweaser, Laura Lucks, Brit Merenick, Maddie Mineweaser and many others. It takes a big family to run a program like this and I would be nuts to think I did it alone.

Thank you to Andy Close and Brian Hagberg, as well. I don’t care what anybody else says… They are the best in the business. They genuinely care about the kids they write about every night! We are truly blessed to have you in this community and we are truly blessed to have you a part of our family.

To my family, thank you! My girls sacrifice so much during the season. They have always felt apart of this family every year, but this year was pretty special since I got to share it with my little ginger, Emma! My parents have always been in my corner and they still are today… they LOVE cheering for our teams! Thank you so much to my LaVan, my rock… you make all this even better with your input and support. I love you all!

I am truly blessed by the good Lord to have the opportunity to coach this GREAT program! One last time, thank you to my team! Your impact on my life can never be measured. I love you.

Yours in hoops,

Lisa LaVan

P.S. Special thanks to the best bus driver ever, Jolly!!