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The Current

Girls JV coach brought spirit, skills to the court

Junior Varsity Head Coach Ralph Lewis talks to the girls team during a time out. Photo by Claire Schad

This article is fifth in a series about new coaches at Bear River.

Ralph Lewis, the new Bear River Junior Varsity Girls Basketball head coach, had an excellent season with the team and helped the girls develop new basketball skills.

Coach Lewis talked about how the season was successful, despite some failures.

“What a great learning experience for all involved,” he said. “The demands of playing this game comes with success and failures. Being so young as a JV squad really allows time to teach the game how it should be played. These girls gave their hearts this season. We had failures, but achieved much more success.”

Coach Lewis also explained his previous coaching experience.

“I’ve been coaching for 27 years,” he said. “I came to Bear River from Placer where I coached for five seasons, coaching all levels in basketball, JV football and head JV baseball. Prior to that I was Head Coach at Hesser College in Manchester, N.H. I have appeared in three national championship tournaments as assistant coach for the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Westmont College in Santa Barbara and was part of the 2005 NHTI USCAA National Championship team. Before that, I have coached high school in California, Colorado and Maine.”

The girls talked about what they liked and disliked about Coach Lewis coaching at Bear River over this past season.

“I liked him, I think he brought a lot of good ideas,” said Allyson Bonnifield, sophomore and post player. “It was definitely difficult to adjust, but I think after awhile we all got it and I think it was really good for us. I want him to come back in years to come because he offered new ideas to the girls, new things to work on and made us all better.”

“He had a lot of new ideas for our basketball season,” said Macey Borchert, sophomore and guard. “He may have been a little harsh, but he has a passion about this sport like no other, and he did care a lot about us and how we performed and was a good coach. I do want him to come back to the team in future years and I think it would be good for him. He needs to lighten up a little bit and just not be so gruff.”

“He was an inspiration to me,” said freshman Arieal Swindel, a point guard. “He helped me grow in my skills and performance in the sport. I think he was amazing. He was really good for the team. I personally really liked him as a coach. I think he should come back and that it would be really good for him and the team for him to return next year.”

Coach Ralph offered his thoughts on the team’s spirit.

“The team was very close,” he said. “The one thing about basketball I love is that friendships between players form and can last a lifetime. We won together and lost together. We had to depend and learn from one another.  Injuries lessened our depth but it didn’t lessen the desire to compete.”

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Girls JV coach brought spirit, skills to the court