New Coach Already Seeing Success With Girls Basketball

Familiar Face Has Girls Basketball On A Tear

New Coach Already Seeing Success With Girls Basketball

With weeks still left in the season, the West Potomac Girls Basketball team has already accrued more wins than in the previous two seasons combined. Their 8-3 record and 3-1 mark in conference play have the Lady Wolverines tops in the Patriot District. After defeating Westfield in the season opener, the ladies uncorked a statement victory in a 72-32 shellacking of Stuart, and followed that performance up with a 38-point victory over Lee. Led by the versatile play of forward Ra’Sheika Gregory, who has shown the unique ability to score from the perimeter and also draw fouls down low, coupled with volume scorer Maddy Zdebski, the team looks to have made an astoundingly quick turnaround.

This team, which has averaged less than three wins per season over the past five years, are on pace to win fifteen games. This unprecedented success can be largely attributed to new (but not so new) head coach Kenneth Farmer. Farmer, a West Potomac teacher and Girls JV coach, previously served as Head Coach for the Lady Wolverines in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

According to Coach Farmer, the difference is dedication. Through various club teams and fall programs, many of the girls played throughout multiple seasons for the first time in their careers, participating in the summer and fall, taking part in in as many as 80 games. “Playing year round makes a big difference. The majority of the kids are pretty committed, they come expecting to work hard and perform, and do well. That’s my expectation of them. I don’t expect them to come here and [slack off] and not be at practice or spend the time in the training room. We expect them to come and work, and do well.”

When asked that the difference is between his coaching style and that of previous coaching, Coach Farmer stated, “I think they’re being held accountable because when you change coaches over and over and over again, it’s hard. Out of season, maybe a couple of kids worked, but they didn’t work because nobody ever told them that’s what you should do.”

In respects to increasing the level of talent coming into West Potomac, Farmer said “We’re trying to work with the youth league program to teach the skills, so that when the kids get here I don’t have to teach them the stuff I’m working on now. The stuff I’m working on now should’ve been taught, they should have learned, in seventh and eighth grade. They do that then, and it’ll be really good.”

Setting goals is a vital part to any sports team. Coach Farmer shared, “I told them the goal that I had for this season was playing a home district playoff game. Which means you’ve gotta come in [at least] third or fourth, which we haven’t done since I was here 25 years ago. And I want to win a district playoff game, those are the two things. To do that you’ve got to end up in third or fourth plays. You’ve got to have winning record in the district. We have to beat the teams that I think we’re better than.”

With the exception of their postponed matchup against a solid opponent in rival Mount Vernon, the Wolverines will end their season by playing only Patriot District teams, and play each team within the district  at least once. “It’s gonna be tough with TC and West Springfield because they’re really good. But the other four; we’ve already beaten Lake Braddock; that was kind of a crazy game. We already beat Woodson, so the only one left there is Annandale. The one that we didn’t beat that we’re looking for is South County.”