Prescott High School assistant coach Heidi Graham has officially fulfilled a complete school year of coaching this past sports season for 2017-18.
Prescott High School assistant coach Heidi Graham has officially fulfilled a complete school year of coaching this past sports season for 2017-18. It's always been a goal and dream for Graham to be involved in student-athletes sports career during their time in high school, but also a mentor and leader for them to grasp life in the right direction for success.
Graham has shown her passion as an assistant coach on the court and field for Prescott Lady Wolves basketball and softball programs. She's currently the only female coach in Prescott athletics for basketball and softball and it's been a factor to have a caliber person of her character to be an assist coach for the junior and senior high girls.
Graham feels it's her duty to be there for kids in a special way and help guide them to complete high school to go far in life in the future with an quality education. She knows the sports industry is exciting, fun, competitive and challenging for student-athletes and Graham feels her experience being a former athlete in high school can be inspiring to the future generation.
Graham has been a major fan of sports all her life, along as a passionate competitor. She believes having an occupation in coaching allows her to help make the difference for young and up coming athletes in a field of athletics where Graham can be productive of something she has always loved.
"I love sports and by coaching it gives me an opportunity to interact with kids and want to impact them as a role model," Graham said.
"I've always had passion for sports and it's just been a dream to become a coach and impact like their lives like my coach did," Graham said.
Before Graham could step into the philosophy of coaching, she knew receiving an education had to be in the works to fulfill this dream and opportunity. Graham was a standout multiple athlete in high school playing basketball, softball and track and field at Bismarck High School.
She earned All-Conference honors and graduated to earn her high school diploma. Following high school, Graham went on later to graduate from college at Henderson State University, earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Eduction and Health. She also earned a teaching endorsement in General Studies K-12 and coaching endorsement 7th-12th grade.
She's very honored to get the opportunity to make her coaching debut in the Prescott School District and her first experience has been inspirational due to being apart of a historic athletic program that values high on success and achievement.
Graham knew the history behind Prescott and it's success in their athletic program for many decades. It was just the right place she knew would be rewarding to began her coaching career and the atmosphere has presented good relationships within the coaching staff as well as the student-athletes.
"Prescott has been top-notch and I'm very well taken care of. Coach [Tommy] Poole - Athletic Director/PHS Principal and [Robert] Poole - PHS Superintendent does a great job seeing whatever the athletic departments need. They really take care of us coaches and athletes. They're always very welcoming," Graham said.
As an educator in the classroom, Graham has seen improvement in the students behavior. She teaches 7th-12th grade health and PE classes alongside coaching basketball and softball at Prescott.
Although Graham has duties to fulfill in coaching, she takes the same drive as an educator in the classroom. It gets very challenging, but Graham looks for the same work ethic given as an athlete to be brought in the classroom to learn and feel good about education.
It's been a different culture and experience as a educator for Graham, but each day for her goals is to to come to work positive with a smile on her face in hopes that the kids will feed off her spirit to feel passionate about learning and education.
"I just want to instill to kids education is most important," Graham said.
As athletics is exciting with enthusiasm, Graham wants the same impact to be about education.
Overall, Graham thought her first year both coaching and teaching went well. She knows things could have went better, but there is always room for progression.
As Graham gets ready to enter into her second year in coaching, there is time to develop the spirit for student-athletes to build their way to working hard in the classroom as they do competing in sports.
Graham was very proud of how productive the Prescott Lady Wolves basketball teams finished this past season on the hardwood. She built close relationships with the girls and definitely enjoyed her time with the seniors. She'll miss them, but hope they'll continue to show the same work ethic and production on the court as they enter into the college world as young ladies.
She felt having the strong relationship with the student-athletes was important, but Graham works extremely well with her head basketball and softball coaches at Prescott.
B.J. Rogers, head girls basketball coach enjoys having Graham alongside him. Rogers knows the impact a strong female personality that cares really makes a difference for the girls. He's very thrilled to have Graham as an assistant coach and more importantly developing a great working relationship.
"Having someone to relate to the girls makes my job 100 percent good. It's always good to have a positive role model and I feel we work well as a team during practice and games. We have a good working relationship," Rogers said.
Graham said she learned a lot from Rogers during her first year as an assistant coach under Rogers. Although their personalities are different with Rogers more laid back and Graham more out spoken they still worked well together and it resulted in success both in junior and senior high girls basketball seasons.
"It's nice coming to work and working together. I enjoy coaching with Coach Rogers. It's been a learning process, but I've really enjoyed it," Graham said.
The Lady Wolves finished the season 19-13 overall, 9-5 in conference. The Lady Wolves captured the 2017 OBU Tournament title, went 2-1 in tourney play hosted by Lake Hamilton, finished second in conference, runner-up at district tournament and fourth at regionals as a state tournament qualifier for a consecutive season.
With a talented senior high group of girls leaving this past season, Graham believes next season will be a learning process for a different style of basketball to perform team wise, but exciting team wise.
"I think our team will have to play a different style of ball, but more fast-tempo next year. We'll be deeper with more depth to play next year," Graham said.
During softball season, there were challenging moments. Graham still enjoyed the experience with the team as well as head coach Gabe Morman. She believes Morman is more outspoken with a similar personality as her in coaching.
She said, "Coach Morman is good to work with. He just a likable guy. He knows the game and I've learned a lot from him. We see eye to eye on discipline in athletics and just work well together."
The Lady Wolves softball team was very young this past season, but Graham believes with a lot of work, they can have a shot to win more games and be better next year. With experience after completing a full season of softball, Graham believes the team will be better in the future. Even with a disappointing season, Graham knows the impact as an assistant coach to keep the spirits of the team up and embrace the aspect to have fun.
"My goal is to be there for the kids and keep motivating them," Graham said.
She feels being a coach is more of a privilege due to working with kids and helping them strive to be the best they can be. Being coaching is very time consuming with a lot time away from family. Graham knew the sacrifice that comes with the job, but she's a proud mother and wife to her family. The same important principals she wants to instill in student-athletes as a coach and educator is what Graham hopes for her kids to have for the future.
She is very proud to be beginning her coaching career in Prescott and looks forward to the journey again next season.
"I'm just proud to be a Curley Wolf and look forward to next year," Graham said.
Heidi Graham is married to D.J. Graham and has two sons, Griffin and Maddox.