Area coaches given honor
Eight area basketball coaches earned coaches of the year awards for their region, it was announced Thursday evening. Canistota's Pat Jolley, Corsica/Stickney's Mike Tuschen, Parkston's Rob Van Laecken and Winner's Rona Volmer were named head coac...
Eight area basketball coaches earned coaches of the year awards for their region, it was announced Thursday evening.
Canistota's Pat Jolley, Corsica/Stickney's Mike Tuschen, Parkston's Rob Van Laecken and Winner's Rona Volmer were named head coaches of the year while Mitchell's Diane Way, McCook Central/Montrose's Jeff Heisinger and Avon's Jeff Wepking were named assistant head coaches of year. Freeman's Kristina Sage was named lower level Region 5-8 girls' coach of the year.
After nine years as an assistant coach with the Mitchell girls' basketball team, Diane Way was named the Region 7 girls' assistant coach of the year.
Way said she was a little surprised that she received the award.
"I appreciated it," she said. "My guess is I got it because I have been doing it that long. It was just about my turn.
"If your name is on the ballot long enough, someone is bound to vote for you."
The Mitchell girls finished with a 15-10 record and reached the Class AA state tournament for the first time since 2004.
Tuschen earned the Region 7 boys' head coach of the year after leading the Corsica/Stickney boys' basketball team to the Class B championship game. The Jaguars beat White River 54-47 in the championship game and finished with a 23-2 record.
Tuschen said the award was unexpected and he is "kind of humbled by it."
"You are just excited that you are being honored because there are a lot of great coaches in our state and region," he said. "There are a lot of coaches that are deserving of it.
"We had some great kids that brought on a success year."
Jolley led the Canistota boys' basketball team to its first state tournament since 1958. The Hawks finished in seventh place in Class B with a 20-4 record to earn the Region 5 boys' head coach of the year.
Jolley said the award is a reflection of the players he had this year.
"We had a lot of talent," he said. "We had an unselfish team and they were easy to coach. It was easy to come to practice everyday. They played hard and listened. It's a tribute to my players."
Van Laecken led the Parkston girls' basketball team to a 22-3 record in Class A as he was awarded the Region 7 girls' head coach of the year.
Van Laecken said it was the "fourth or fifth" time he has earned the award.
"It's a very nice honor when you consider the team in our region," he said. "It's a nice honor to be picked by your peers, and I am very honored about it. It's a tribute to the kids that we have, and you don't get these honors without good kids."
Rona Volmer was named the recipient of the Region 8 girls' head coach of the year after she led Winner to a 17-9 record and an eighth-place finish at the Class A state tournament.
Volmer could not be reached by The Daily Republic Thursday night for comment.