Corydon senior point guard Kayla Uhl, the daughter of coach Michael Uhl, will lead the Panthers into regional action against Evansville Bosse on Saturday at Brownstown. Uhl is averaging 7.1 points per game for the Panthers, who are chasing their first Class 3-A regional title since 2005.
The Courier-Journal: Is winning a sectional title as a senior a special event?
Kayla Uhl: You go all through high school and never win a sectional, so winning it my senior year — in my favorite sport — meant a lot to me.
What’s it like to be the daughter of the coach?
He’s a little tougher on me, but basketball stays at basketball. We don’t bring it home. It’s not like I have to deal with it twice. When we’re at basketball, he’s my coach. When we’re at home, he’s my dad.
Do you feel pressure to perform because of that relationship?
I don’t think it’s the coach’s daughter part that causes that. I think it’s because I’m the point guard. Everyone knows the point guard is the leader. And being the coach’s daughter makes that role a little bit harder.
As a senior point guard, you are expected to be a team leader. How do to try to show that?
I try to encourage everyone to stay focused and stay calm. We got a little nervous in our first game of the sectional, and I told everyone we would be OK. We pulled out and won by 20. The next game, the same thing happened. That’s what you have to do, just reassure your team.
What do you love about the game?
It’s a team sport. I love my teammates.
You plan to attend U of L and major in dentistry. What pointed you in that career direction?
My best friend’s mom is a dentist, and so is her dad, so I’ve been around it. It seemed like an awesome occupation.
How do you find the time to play three sports and do all your school activities?
It’s kind of tough. I’m in honors classes as well, to top it all off. So I know when it’s time to study and I know when it’s time for basketball, and I know when it’s time to show some school spirit.
Corydon will play Evansville Bosse in the first regional game. What will your team have to do to be successful?
I’ve heard they’re pretty fast, so we’re going to have to play some lock-down defense. If we play as a team, we’ll be fine. We love to trap and we’ve always been taught defense wins games. So we pour all our pride into defense.
KAYLA UHL UP CLOSE
* School: Corydon
* Year: Senior
* Family: Parents Michael and Brenda; sister Heather (20)
* Student/athlete: Kayla also plays golf and tennis. She is secretary of the Student Council, vice-president of the senior class and secretary of the Spirit Club. She participates in the Panther mentor program and is the editor of the school yearbook. She plans to attend the University of Louisville and major in dentistry.
* Coach Michael Uhl: She just adds stability, we’re a better team when she’s on the floor. The cohesiveness of the team is a lot better. She’s the jokester on the team that helps keep everybody loose. We have a rule, once we walk out of school, we’re father-daughter. We live by that.
— Justin Sokeland