If you have seen a new face in the athletics department this year, chances are that it was the newest addition to South’s women’s basketball team: Coach Heather Wolf. Wolf has been working with the women’s basketball team over the summer and pushing the squad toward a mindset of change, encouraging the girls to strive for more in terms of the sport and in their daily lives.
“[I hope to create] a mindset of change in the perception of what valued work is and how it can be obtained. The girls have done a really good job of buying into it so far. They’ve been doing extra training since school started. I’m looking forward to that growth transferring to see productivity,” Wolf said.
“From the first day Coach started working with us, I saw a change,” senior and women’s team co-captain Tessa McAninch said. “She has pushed us continuously throughout the summer and fall, harder than we have ever worked in the offseason. In an extremely short amount of time, she has taken a program that was struggling and turned it into something we can all be really excited about.”
“As players, I think we push ourselves harder and care so deeply about the little things that we previously overlooked, which has made us stronger as a team,” she added. “I feel truly lucky that I have been given the opportunity to play under Coach Wolf for my senior year, as she has taught me to see, play and understand the game in a way I never could before.”
Wolf’s message has also influenced the younger members of the team to push themselves harder and strive for success.
“We’ve put in a lot of work, and we hope that this is the start of a great season,” freshman Kiwi White said.
Team members have also felt increasingly connected with each other and motivated to immerse themselves more in the game.
“I think that we have a bond and drive that we didn’t have in years past,” sophomore Abbey Jost said. “Those two things combined can make for a great season. Coach has really made it a point to let us bond and connect on a level that we didn’t in the past. Last season didn’t mean anything to the team. She has made us realize that we can be good, or even great, but it’s up to us. It’s also always nice to have a coach that is so committed to helping us succeed.”
Although she has moved around to coach for a variety of teams, Wolf grew up in Oregon. While attending Regis High School in Stayton, Ore., she played on the all-state basketball team three times. After she graduated, she went to California to pursue her college career at San Diego State. In moving around for her basketball career and different coaching jobs, she has experienced the dynamics of many areas, but has kept the same philosophy about persistence.
“I’ve had a plethora of different coaching opportunities. [In previous coaching jobs], people didn’t have the bare necessities to get to school. I think no matter where you’re at, there’s a unique opportunity to grow as a person, and I think there are a lot of opportunities to be humbled,” Wolf said. “It’s important as a coach to teach students how to get somewhere. You gotta roll up your sleeves and go after it. If you teach that value of work, it doesn’t change [for other fields of work or study].”
The women’s basketball team has kicked the season off well with a 1-1 win-loss record overall and a 1-0 win-loss record for league play. If you would like to support South women’s basketball and attend a game, tickets are only one dollar. See the school website for the schedule.