Jeremy Schoenecker, 35, associate athletic director at Loyola Academy, also coaches the girls basketball team, which was a final four at the 2012 Class 4A Illinois High School Girls Basketball Tournament.
Patch: What’s your favorite thing about working with Loyola students?
Most of the kids do come here, rightly so, for academics first, then I get the opportunity to see them in a different light on the athletic field. So my favorite thing about working with Loyola students is just being able to see the students grow not only academically but also on the athletic field as well.
Patch: Most memorable moments coaching the girls basketball team?
This past season we made it down to the State finals. There were about 160 schools that started the Illinois High School Association tournament and we actually finished fourth in the State this past season.
I started four year so this was my sort of first class; in terms of they were freshmen when I took over the program. And just to be able to see them over the four years, not only grow as young woman but also grow on the basketball court, as well. It was fun just being around them—a great group of 14 girls and four team coaches … and to see them reach the goals that they wanted to reach.
Patch: What’s a good environment for girls that want to play basketball?
We talk a lot about us, within our program, as being a family, being able to talk to one another, being able to have that friendship once they are in our program.
Obviously there is a serious side once you do practice or you are in a game, but I think they really enjoy, and I really enjoy, the lighter side of it –just getting to know them, to joke with them – and I think a lot of girls within our program know that as their coaches they can come to us no matter what the situation maybe.
Patch: What’s one thing you’ve helped influence the girls on?
I would probably say respect, not only on the court but also in classrooms with their peers, their teachers and understanding about hard walk. We talk about hard work all the time but sometimes hard work doesn’t always pay off.
We always talk about trying to earn something and it’s not solely on the basketball court, I think it’s more off the basketball court in terms of respect and working hard.
It’s a life lesson in terms of you are not always going to earn or be given something. You have to go work for it but even though you’ve worked for that, you might not always reach that end result.
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