The Unexpected Season for Girls Basketball


Hannah Osmann, Co-Editor In Chief

Brandon Havard is a name widely known at Erie High School, whether it be as coworker, teacher, or coach.  For most of his time at Erie, he has been a head coach of both track and cross country. This year however, he put on a new hat becoming the head coach for girls basketball.

Harvard was assigned the head coaching position days before the season was set to start, and over the couple of months in which they played both the team and coaching staff had many hurdles to overcome. “That’s a lot to lose some of your friends to another program, to lose some very talented players and to still want to come out and fight and become a team. I think the biggest moment is just that they stuck with it.” Havard reflects. 


Between this season and the previous season the team had lost five athletes due to transfers and other circumstances, “It’s hard to replace the caliber that we lost.” He said, “but I do think that the girls stepped up and did a great job becoming leaders.”


While Havard is proud of the players in many ways, according to some he also triumphed this season. Benjamin Wooching, assistant varsity coach this year says and fellow track coach says, “the biggest thing that Havard exemplifies is sacrifice: he sacrifices his time, a ton of energy, and a ton of his focus towards these girls and guys, and their sports.” 


Both Havard and Wooching agree on the importance of consistency, and while Havard says that he works on it, Wooching says that it is one of the best things that Havard is able to bring to his coaching. “The second one [he is best at is] you know that he does a really good job of is consistency,” Wooching says, “You know for everyone it’s the same, and that’s kind of how you build culture.” 


Erica Pickering, a senior player this season, has played her past four years at Erie. “[Havard] pushes us to go our hardest even when it hurts, in both cross country and basketball, to help us be our best.” She adds, “he cares deeply for his athletes which makes him the best coach.” She says. 


As Havard puts it, the team had to “gel together”, and as a result the team bonded both on and off the court. “We learned how to play with each other, we learned more about each other not only on the court but as well as off the court… and [it] is helping us play together in the game,” Pickering says. 


This growth that the team had experienced over this season was not just fueled by Havard, according to Pickering it was because of all the coaches. “Havard, Wooching, and Bird. They all believed in us even when we didn’t believe in ourselves.” 


Pickering reflects that even though the girls had won less games than in previous seasons, that this year was a success. “This season was a unique one for sure, but also one that I will never forget. I am very proud of my teammates and all that we have accomplished.”