|Tipp's Myers takes CJ to state|
|Written by Jim Dabbelt|
|Wednesday, 20 March 2013 00:00|
During the week, Mandy Myers teaches social studies to seventh and eighth grade students at Tippecanoe Middle School.
But last week, she was in the process of trying to add some names to the basketball history books.
Myers, who coaches the Chaminade-Julienne girls' varsity basketball team, was in Columbus with the Lady Eagles competing in the state final four, and working toward a state championship. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they ran into a buzzsaw and was defeated by West Holmes, ending their season in the semi-finals.
"I was lucky enough to go with the 1999 CJ team (as a player), and I told the kids it was normal to be nervous to play here," she said. "When we got on the floor, it hit. It got in our heads a bit, and like any other first-year team here, panic set in early for us."
"West Holmes was definitely a good team," Myers said after their 69-44 defeat. "Things kind of spiraled out of control for us."
In all, Myers realizes it was an up and down year, but can remember when things started to change for the better for this team.
"It was a rocky start for us this year," she said. "Even when we struggled midway through the season, we felt like it was so close for us."
"Then one day I decided to just run the ball since we were so athletic. It worked against Springboro, and we started to increase our defensive pressure and it clicked for us. Our turnovers were cut down toward the end of the season, and it got us to Columbus."
But the daily grind wasn't easy for Myers. She would teach at Tipp until 2:45, and have to get to practice in downtown Dayton everyday by 3:30. She said she was very fortunate to have some great assistant coaches who can help until she gets there.
"I really love the people I work with at Tipp City, so I have the best of both worlds," she said. "I get to teach where I love, and coach where I went to school."
She will be the first to tell you, her students and players see a whole different perspective on her on a daily basis.
"I get to joke a lot more with my players, and it's easier to be relaxed with them. In the classroom I am a lot more structured."
She also has seen all of the kids who are currently in the Tipp program, and knows that these freshman and sophomores could be special for the Lady Red Devils.
"Tipp has a great program, and coach (Aaron) Jackson has done a wonderful job," Myers said. "They are fundamentally solid, they play hard and are a smart group of kids."
So for Myers, who has seen all of the good kids come up in the Miami Valley in the past few years, she knows that this area is very special for basketball.
"It's a hotbed, and the leagues in this area are very good," she said. "They have been successful at the state level, and have sent kids to college to play ball."
"We are in the toughest Division 2 sectional in the state, and then you look at some of the great teams we have around here...teams like Fairmont and Centerville, who are 'scary good'".
While CJ was eliminated at state and will not go into the history books, Myers will strive to push forward so next season, they can make a return trip...with different results.