Editor's note: Prior to Tuesday's game with Storm Lake, the Estherville Lincoln Central senior girls honored the coaches that helped them through the years. Senior Casey Sievert compiled the following information, which was ready by Principal Frank Christenson before the game. Coaches who were present for the game were Jeff Sievert, Cathy McCauley, Steve Loy, Amber Pruin, Brad Leonard, Ashley Weston and Tony Klein.
Before tonight's (Tuesday's) contest the senior girls basketball players want to take the time to recognize the people that have been a large part of their success. Success is a balance of hard work and talent. Without all the hard work the coaching staff along the way put us through, our team would never have had the chance to reach our goals. Besides their parents, who have been a huge support system, they would like to thank the coaches that have helped them progress in the game starting at a young age. I would ask you to please come forward when you are announced.
In fourth grade, the Armstrong-Ringsted Mustangs team called and asked the Estherville girls to get together and scrimmage a few times. Soon, the Estherville girls were signing up for tournaments nearly every weekend. They called themselves the Mini-Midgets and included all six seniors playing tonight. The Mini-Midgets were coached by Jeff Sievert and Cathy McCauley. Jeff believed it was important for the girls to know every single position on the floor. He taught them their most foolproof offensive play known as "Left". Cathy was always getting the girls excited to play by teaching them their pregame clap. The goal at each tournament was to practice their basketball skills and have fun, which these coaches made happen. The Mini-Midgets ended in 8th grade after five seasons with an overall record of 133-15.
Estherville Lincoln Central senior girls basketball players honored their coaches, including current coach Tony Klein, left, at the beginning of Tuesday’s game with Storm Lake. Senior players from left are Emily Kirchner, Allie Sievert, Casey Sievert, Sara Heywood, Macy Dahl and Maggie McCauley.
EDN photo by David Swartz
When it came time to play junior high ball, the girls were already familiar with their head coach, Steve Loy. Coach Loy had helped them at practices each year even before junior high. The most yelling he did was if the girls stole the ball and ran up the score. He still works with the youth teams and has made a large time investment in the program.
Coach Loy was assisted by Doug Lago and Amber Pruin. Coach Pruin showed her excitement in coaching her first sports team. She always made practices fun for the girls and gave Loy a laugh during games. Coach Loy, Lago, and Pruin coached the girls to two undefeated seasons in 7th and 8th grade.
While playing in 8th grade, the girls were also invited to attend high school practices by Coach Brad Leonard and assistant Anne Fiene. When they came in as freshman, Coach Leonard made sure they were ready for varsity play right away. He set very high goals for the team by focusing on a shut-down defense.
The seniors credit him with a large part of their work ethic and drive to reach their goals. Leonard coached the seniors to two Lakes Conference Championships, a 2A State Runner-Up Title after coming into the state competition being unranked, and another state qualification in 2012. His final record for the three seasons coaching the seniors was 64-14.
When Coach Leonard became the new Athletic Director, the seniors were uncertain as to how their senior season would end up. It was soon announced that their coach would be Tony Klein, assisted by Ashley Weston.
Ashley was a part of the State Runner-Up team in 2011. She was a hard worker as a player and still shows her knowledge and passion of the game as a coach.
Coach Klein has shown to be very dedicated to the basketball team. Before the season even started, he had watched every single game of the girls from the previous year and even looked in on some practices to use drills. The girls still hold the same goals and have the same drive to win. Their current record under Coach Weston and Coach Klein is 16-2.
The girls are looking forward to finishing their senior year strong and would again like to thank every coach that has gotten them to this point.
Through all of the coaching, we remain one team with one dream.