Can these two rescue Quincy girls basketball?
They are pretty sure they can.
Micaiah McCreary and her husband of three years, Jeremy, have applied for the job of co-head coaches of the varsity basketball team at Quincy High School.
Immediately, as soon as the news got out, mental images of arguments about undone dishes and upright toilet seats, on the sidelines in front of a gymful of fans started floating atop the heads of some skeptics.
Nonsense, say both McCrearys. If they get the job, they will have well-established roles and won’t step on each other’s toes midgame. Or any other time.
As proof, they offer the fact they already work together in the family’s realty business. And the fact that they are both coaches already.
Micaiah, 26, is the fourth-year head coach of the JV team, and was an assistant for former head coach Cory Medina. Jeremy, 36, is a former basketball and baseball player for Quincy, as well as a youth hoops coach. Micaiah played hoops at Entiat.
The couple have applied as co-head coaches, but said that if they don’t get the job that way, they will apply separately for the job. If one gets it, the other will become his or her volunteer assistant.
“When it comes to basketball, we have pretty much the same philosophy,” she said. “So that would make it a lot easier when it comes to decisions.”
The team won two games last season, the fifth under Medina, who resigned after the season ended. Medina first took the job thinking that in five years the team would be winning many more games.
The McCrearys said they have no timeline in mind.
“I can take over a football program and get the best athletes in a school that are freshmen, or sophomores, or sometimes even juniors, and I can make them great football players by their senior year,” Jeremy said. “You just can’t do that with basketball. You just can’t turn it around really, really fast, but you can turn around a girls program faster than a boys program.”
The program’s struggles predate Medina, Jeremy said. The team has not made state since the early 1990s, he said.
“For me, not growing up here, I want to be a part of the community,” said Micaiah, who played at state for the Tigers (of Entiat) for four years. Coming into Quincy’s program “is definitely different,” she said. Her Quincy JV team went 2-18 last year.
The entire community needs to buy in to making the girls hoops program good again, Jeremy said.
“It’s hard to be into it when you haven’t had success,” Micaiah said. “So you have to start at the root.”
A good example of what that grassroots work might look like is what is happening with the Quincy girls soccer program.
This year, the soccer team made the playoffs after winning one game in the last two years combined.
Key to that success were the freshmen players who had played youth soccer together for years before reaching varsity, Jeremy said.
“Youth basketball is our No. 1 priority,” he added. Priority 1a is getting that elusive league win, not just for statistics’ sake, but to lift the collective spirits of the girls in the program.
“To teach them and to make it fun, you also need to have goals as to get wins,” Micaiah said.
If the couple get the job, they like their odds in Year 1.
The team has not won a league game in five years, but, Jeremy said the team has the potential to finish its CWAC calendar with a 9-9 record.
“Maybe even better than that,” he said. “9-9 is realistic. 0-18 is realistic, too. It’s just going to be how bad do they buy into what we are selling.”
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org