Sun, Sept. 22

Women’s movement at Mingus<br><i>Marauders tab three new varsity head coaches</i>

Holm comes highly recommended by current Camp Verde girls coach Mark Showers. She was his assistant and JV coach for a few years before leaving Camp Verde in 1999.

Holm got married in the spring of 2000 and started working with her new husband’s business, Holm’s Glass. She stayed in coaching after her marriage, helping direct her stepdaughter’s volleyball team at Cottonwood Middle and volunteering to help out with middle school softball.

This will be her first varsity head-coaching job in basketball.

“I’m very excited and am looking forward to the learning experience,” Holm said. “We’ll be growing together. I have a lot of sources I can turn to for ideas and support, which is great.”

The new coach inherits a program that competes in one of the toughest 4A regions in the state. The Lady Marauders have not made the state playoffs since 2000 and have only won three conference games in the past three seasons (0-11 this past winter).

Holm is beginning the building process even now, holding a free clinic for players in grades 7-12 for the next three weeks (see Keeping Score column at left for more details). She’s hoping to develop a core group of players who will consider hoops one of their top priorities rather than just a winter stepping stone between volleyball and softball or track.

“We don’t have a lot of girls who make basketball their sport,” she said. “They play the sport to stay in shape and occupy their time. I’d like to take some of the younger girls in seventh and eighth-grades and build a program that emphasizes basics, teamwork, character.

“I’m hoping to put a fire under some of them. Here is their opportunity to get the groundwork going.”

Expect Mingus players to spend plenty of time on defense under Holm. And expect them to run a variety of sets, with man-to-man being just one of them.

“I know the things we’ll be up against (in the Grand Canyon Region) – the run and gun,” she said. “My plan is to slow that kind of basketball down. We’re going to have to steal some points through our defense or clever trickery.”

Dave Williams, a former Camp Verde coach as well, will serve as Holm’s assistant. Bob Young will coach the JV girls, and Islas will return as the freshman girls coach.

Pam Lusk

Lusk has been involved in soccer for more than 20 years, both as a player and coach. She was an all-state sweeper for a 4A high school in North Carolina, which won one state championship and finished as the state runner-up twice.

She played club soccer – called “select” in North Carolina – for several years in middle and high school, and competed on the club team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (similar to JV).

Lusk tried out for the Tar Heel varsity squad as a junior but a sprained ankle limited her chances. She didn’t make the squad but felt good about the experience.

Carolina went on to finish 23-0 that season and won its eighth-straight national championship. Tar Heel standout Mia Hamm was voted the national player of the year for the second time.

“He said you had the skills, and if you were in shape and younger you would have made it,” Lusk said. “That was enough for me.”

Lusk, who also started a Verde Valley Soccer Club team for 9- and 10-year-old girls this spring, said she wants to pass on what she’s learned during her career (which also included a stint in the U.S. Olympic Development program).

“I love the game, and I want to share my knowledge and wisdom with these girls. Hopefully they will be better than me one day.”

Lusk has two seasons of coaching at Mingus under her belt. She directed the JV Marauders the past two winters, guiding the inaugural team to a 6-2 record in 2002 and following that up with a 6-2 campaign this past season.

This will be her first varsity job. She served as an assistant girls coach for an elite private high school in Raleigh, N.C. before moving to the Verde Valley in 2000.

There is more to soccer than meets the eye, she says. She cringes when she hears someone yell to a player to simply “boot the ball.”

“Soccer is really very skill-based,” she said. “There is a lot of precision involved in it. People don’t realize it until they to do passing, trapping and shooting correctly.”

A beautiful soccer game, according to Lusk, would involve plenty of passing. That will be a focus as she takes on the Mingus job. The Marauders have never been to the state playoffs in girls soccer.

“It all starts with the basics. You can’t win games and you can’t make it to the state playoffs if the girls can’t implement the basics of soccer,” Lusk says. “That’s going to be a lot of what we work on.”

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