The Pittston Area girls basketball team recently went to team camp at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
Sixteen Lady Patriots and their coaches ventured west on Interstate 80 for many hours to arrive on the Notre Dame campus. The bus ride was so long everyone on the bus can now quote and sing every word to the movie “Pitch Perfect.”
The girls had a tour of the campus and stayed at the Inn at St. Mary’s hotel. The Lady Patriots Booster Club bought pizza for the crew on Thursday night. Camp registration was early Friday morning where we were immediately greeted by Notre Dame players and camp director Angie Potthoff. Angie was a player at Penn State and made the PA girls feel very welcome, going out of her way to accommodate her fellow Pennsylvanians.
As the girls ran through the bookstore spending their money, they saw some familiar faces as Dr. Shawn Casey and his family were in the bookstore the same time we were. Dr. Casey had made a generous donation to the team before he left which made the girls smile.
The players were split up into two different teams. The varsity team was made up of Liz Waleski, Ali Barber, Jordan Fritz, Rachel Ferrance, Haley Norwillo, Marley O’Brien, Kirsten Durling and Lyn Clark. The junior varsity team players were Karli Modleski, Brooke Gory, Cherokee Musto, Bailey Jordan, Portia Weidlich, Lily Savoy and Leah Hodick.
The varsity team played seven games and finished the weekend with a record of 4-3. Their wins were hard-fought battles against some really impressive teams. Two of the losses came at the hands of two of the top teams in Illinois. The one loss was in overtime by two and the other one by a shot at the buzzer. The girls really turned the heads of the referees, current Notre Dame players and coaches.
The JV team played in an extremely tough division as the girls were competitive in every game they played. They got better and better as the weekend progressed. Our really young team played against much older players and it was great to watch them step up their game.
Muffet McGraw, head coach of the Irish women’s basketball team, was incredible. She actually watched three of our varsity games. She posed for every picture and signed autographs with a smile on her face. She had an Xs and Os clinic for the coaches. She answered everyone’s questions and stayed after to explain things in more detail for our coaching staff. She even took a picture with our awesome bus driver, Angel. Angel, from Martz Trailways, was always professional and he went out of his way to make sure the girls had a memorable experience.
The Lady Patriots would like to thank the Lady Patriots Booster Club. The members of the booster club were instrumental in making this trip become a reality. We would also like to thank everyone who donated money, gift baskets and bought sunglasses. Also a big thanks to all the former players from Seton Catholic and Pittston Area who purchased T-shirts and played in the Legends game.
We made some wonderful memories and we played some great basketball. But the best part of the trip, for me as a coach, were the comments about how respectable and well mannered our players and coaching staff are.