by Zoie Driy

In 2007, Mary Ayres came to Hamilton High School as a Spanish teacher. She heard about an opening as a freshmen girls basketball coach and jumped at the offer. “I love athletics and it was a way to stay in the game” added Ayres when asked what drove her to be a coach. She now is a coach for girls freshmen basketball and girls middle school soccer.  Before coming to Hamilton High School, she attended Plainwell High School. Where she played volleyball, basketball, and soccer. After that she went to Hope College where she majored in Spanish and minored in Psychology. There she played soccer as a goalie for four years.

“Handling coaching and teaching is a super difficult task,” quoted Ayres. The schedule is the worst part. Ayres referenced that teaching makes days long and coaching makes nights late and with only 3 preps, one hour a week for planning makes for a long season. Coaching and teaching are two different things but they go hand in hand and are similar in many ways. Ayres enjoys having a student-athlete in her class and on her team. She really get to know them and see them progress. Not only does coaching allow Ayres to bond with the girls. It allows her to see the girls work hard, be successful and most of all have fun. “They keep me young,” said Ayres.

Freshmen level is the first experience with high school basketball. Theres still a lot to learn. It’s the start of your high school sports career. Coaching this level of basketball is definitely a great experience. We asked if ever offered would you like to take a coaching position at a higher level. Ayres responded by saying that she would probably take the JV position, but she doesn’t have any desire to be a varsity coach. There is so much more pressure and time that goes into it. Ayres for now seems to be enjoying her position as a freshmen coach.

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