Mackay High School
Conference: 1AD2 Rocky Mountain Conference
Classification: 1A D2
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Head Coach: Leigh Patterson
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Record Last Year: 11-11
Morgan Betzer, PG, senior
Libby Moorman, Post, Senior
Kali Gamett, Guard, senior
Daisy Bernal, Guard, Senior
Returning Players with Honors:
Libby Moorman 1st team all-conference
Kali Gamett 2nd team all-conference
Morgan Betzer 2nd team all-conference
Incoming impact players:
Remi Wojciechowski, guard, 9
Marissa Nelson, post, 9
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
The 2015-16 basketball season did not end the way that the Mackay Miners were hoping.
After reaching the district title game, the Miners promptly lost big to both Rockland and Sho-Ban, thereby ending their dream of reaching the 1A Division-II state tournament for the sixth straight year.
But the Miners are ready to go for the new campaign and will once again begin the journey to the state tournament.
Returning to the team is head coach Leigh Patterson, now in his fourth season leading the team. Patterson is in a rare and unique situation leading the basketball team – he also serves as Mackay’s principal and superintendent.
“I have a lot on my plate as a superintendent of a district and principal of a K-12 school,” he said. “I think many believe that coaching would just be one more thing to worry about. For me, though, it has become my stress relief and how I deal with the chaos of being over a small district.”
Patterson notes that his district being as small as it is presents challenges, including the number of athletes in the school that choose to play school sports.
“We have nine total girls in our program,” he said. “We have to stay healthy to be successful this year.”
Returning to the squad this year are a quartet of seniors, including point guard Morgan Betzer, guards Kali Gamett and Daisy Bernal, and post Libby Moorman. Gamett, Betzer, and Moorman garnered All-Conference selections last season.
Patterson added that freshmen Remi Wojciechowski and Marissa Nelson will be expected to make an impact for the Miners on the court in a complimentary role to the seniors. The coach said the experience of the seniors will aid in their progress.
“We do return some experience. Kali, Morgan, and Libby have all played in the state tournament,” he said. “We are quick overall on offense and defense and look to push the floor.”
Patterson said there are three key factors to his team’s success this year.
“We need to limit turnovers and improve our offensive rebounding, and also focus on working together as one solid unit on defense,” he said.
Working as one solid unit will indeed have to be the calling card of the Miners in 2016-17 if they plan on ending their short hiatus from the state tournament. Patterson says that his team wants to “Bring The Bacon” each night to achieve that.
“We want to be totally committed to the team and willing to sacrifice for the good of the team,” he said.
If Mackay can do that, they could make some noise come playoff-time.
“I’m just excited for the opportunity to coach this great game and see where we end up in February”, said Patterson.