Lady Pioneers Are FamilyBy Tara Grieco | February 13th, 2014 | Category: Lead Story, Sports | No Comments »
Coach Charles Marshall is so excited about the women’s basketball team at GSC and the prospect of continuing the winning tradition that he has moved his entire family to Glenville to be a part of the lives of our players. He is the new head coach and his wife, a trained nurse, is at home with their three girls, Jordyn 13, Jayli 9, and Jiya 7, easing them through this big transition. However, Sharonda Marshall is also acting team mother for the Lady Pioneers. Without any female staff members, the young women needed a female role model and confidant and Sharonda has stepped in to fill this role. They are both committed to the idea that the team not only needs a coach on the court, but mentors for life.
The Marshalls met when they were both students at Berea, during the Bunky Harkleroad era, and have been together since. They even endured two years apart when Coach Marshall was assisting Bunky here at GSC. Sharonda is an integral part of the coach’s ultimate goal that everyone on the team graduates. “Everyone graduating is more important than being undefeated or setting records,” says Marshall adding that “winning a national championship this year and next year would be ok too.”
Coach Marshall is particularly proud of the way his team handles the physical, mental, and emotional pressure that comes with pursuing excellence on and off the court. The road to graduation is especially demanding for student athletes. They have at least 3 games per week with practices in-between, Sunday is their only day off. And they are required to maintain a 2.3 GPA. If their four week grades are below a C, Coach sends them to Academic Support Services for two hours of study hall per day. The pure physicality of the hours they practice is exhausting in itself, but when you add in the time spent in class, studying, traveling, games played, and community service you will find they are putting in more than 40 hours and sometimes more than 50 hours per week.
In their spare time, they organize fundraisers to defray the costs of travel and competition as well as coordinate events that benefit GSC and the Glenville community at large. Coach Marshall and his team are planning a big event for April 11, 2014 and the theme is horses. The team will also be hosting basketball clinics in local elementary schools and visiting with our older residents at the Senior Center. Marshall believes that the more you are out in the community and give people a chance to get to know you, the more people are inclined to come out to support your efforts.
Support for our Lady Pioneers is vital to their morale. A student-led spirit team is out at all of the home games cheering them on. Furthermore, Coach Marshall is looking forward to having the new Cheer Squad at the games, both home and away. But, nothing takes the place of having fellow Pioneers and people from the community at the games cheering them on.
So take a moment to come out to the games or offer a kind word to one of our young women, you make a difference.
Open tryouts will be held this fall for anyone on campus that is interested in becoming a Lady Pioneer.