New coach leads girls’ basketball team this season

By Chloe Hall, Staff Writer — The girls’ basketball program has a new head coach this seaon.

Paul Wackerly previously coached at Hoover, where he led the girls’ basketball team to the 2002 Division I state title. He was 252-75 from 1997-2010, and won five district championships and eight Federal League titles.

Wackerly took last season off after stepping down as Perry’s boys’ basketball coach. From 2011-13, he led the Panthers to a 45-24 record.

“Looking back, I should’ve stayed on the girls side of coaching,” Wackerly said. “I’m a girls’ basketball coach.”

People have been questioning why he chose GlenOak, since the program has been looked down on by other Federal League teams for the past few years. The girls’ are ready to show everyone that it is their year.

“It is time to bring back the pride of girls’ basketball to the place I grew up: Plain Local Schools. I knew it had a great bunch of seniors and some underclassmen that were tired of being at the bottom of the league and watching other teams cut the nets down,” Wackerly said. “I would always talk to the girls in August while they were playing on my court in my backyard and thought they were so nice. I would think to myself that if GlenOak would open up a coaching spot I would come back to coach girls. I just had a feeling about the girls. They always worked hard and I want them to accomplish something that hasn’t been done in years.”

There was a lot of positive feedback after the Plain Local community heard about the new coach. Even some students seemed interested in what the girls would be able to achieve this season.

“I am excited to watch the girls play because I think they have a lot to bring to the table. Last year they were really young, making for a lot of varsity experience this year. With a new coaching staff, returning starters, and a few new faces I think they will pose a threat to the Federal League,” junior Madi Boring said.

The girls plan to continue working hard towards their new goals as the season goes on and really focus on proving the rest of the Federal League wrong.

“I would like to accomplish making progress as a team and learning how to play well together, which will hopefully lead us to the ultimate goal of being Federal League Champions,” senior basketball player Maddy Repp said.

Being that there are eight seniors on the team, they want to extend the season as far as they can. They are continuing to work hard, reach their goals, and prepare for a successful season.

“There’s two types of people in this world,” Wackerly said. “There are people who look for success and go after it and don’t make excuses. They see what they want and go after it. And there are people who look at other people’s success and make excuses and try to pull those people down. We’re going after that success.”

[Updated Aug. 8, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]