The focus of most high school sports coverage is typically and rightfully centered on the action taking place on the playing field, but with its latest contest, USA TODAY High School Sports would like to shine the spotlight – at least temporarily – on the leaders who roam the sidelines.
The national high school sports Web site is looking to determine the country’s best high school girls basketball coach in an online contest.
USA TODAY High School Sports selected five active high school girls basketball coaches in each state and Washington, D.C., after more than a month of conversations with local media and other state/school officials with expertise.
Now, it’s your turn, as fans will decide which coaches will emerge from a list of 255.
Starting today, there will be three rounds of voting. The state round of voting will run until Feb. 24, with the winners and top two wildcards nationally advancing to the regional round. The regional round will run from Feb. 25-March 4, with again the winners and top two wildcards advancing to the final round. The final, national round will take place from March 5-12.
Ohio’s selections are Anna’s Jack Billing, Clyde’s John Cahill, Hathaway Brown’s Paul Barlow, Twinsburg’s Julie Solis and West Holmes’ Lisa Patterson
All boast an impressive list of accolades, but to go beyond the numbers and to get more tangible information about what makes the Northeast Ohio leaders in the contest great, the staff at USATODAYhss.com/Cleveland asked some of their current players via Twitter to share their thoughts.
Hathaway Brown (Shaker Heights, Ohio) coach Paul Barlow
Barlow is in his 13th season at the helm of the Blazers and has built one of the state’s most successful prep basketball programs. HB has won five consecutive state titles.
“Coach Barlow has tremendous leadership, knowledge of the game and communication skills that make him an outstanding coach.” – HB senior captain Beth Brzozowski (@Beth_Brzozowski)
Twinsburg coach Julie Solis
Solis is in her fifth season at the helm of the Tigers. Through her first four seasons, she led the Tigers to three straight title game appearances (winning two) while amassing a 104-6 record.
“Coach Solis is a competitor and that is why she excels at what she does. She always wants to win and has a game plan to make it happen. Her desire to be the best drives us to work hard every day in practice to get better.” – Twinsburg junior forward Jaime Sanborn (@Jaime_Sanborn22)
“She loves the game of basketball. She strives for greatness. She knows what it takes to be the best of the best.” – Twinsburg freshman guard Jailyn Reid (@Jailyn_Reid)
West Holmes (Millersburg, Ohio) coach Lisa Patterson
Patterson has led her alma mater to the Division II state championship game the previous two seasons and the Knights are one of the state’s best again this season.
Voting is now open. Fans can vote as often as they’d like, so be sure to represent Northeast Ohio.
For more Northeast Ohio high school sports news, scores, photos and videos, visit USATodayhss.com/Cleveland.