Work in Sports
The first whistle of the new year
Updated: Friday November 03, 2000 11:27 AM
Gail Goestenkors, a native of Waterford, Michigan, is in her ninth season as coach of the Duke Blue Devils. The three-time ACC coach of the year led Duke to the 1999 NCAA title game and it's first ACC tournament title in 2000. The Blue Devils have been picked to win the ACC title this season. Check out Goestenkors diary every other week on CNNSI.com
November 3, 2000
It's hard to believe another season is about to get under way. It seems like it takes forever from the last whistle that ended the season to the first whistle of the new year. Almost every team in the country ends its season with a loss and then, at least as a coach, you spend the entire summer trying to figure out what you could have done better to squeeze just one more win out. It seems like we're never happy and I guess to a degree that's true....you always want more for your team and expect more from yourself.
We open our season with an exhibition game on Friday against Athletes in Action. I don't feel like we're ready to play a game yet but I know the players are anxious to test themselves against someone new.
We have a few injuries -- Krista Gingrich is out with a partial tear of her calf muscle, and Michele Matyasovsky has just come back from having a pin put in her finger after tearing a ligament. Rochelle Parent has also started to play again after severely spraining her ankle. I'm just thankful that all of our players can return to action. I look around the country and there are so many programs that are loosing players with knee injuries, it's scary.
Preseason has been great! We have five new freshmen and they are all talented. I have been very impressed with their mental and physical toughness. Many times when freshmen come in it takes them a long time to adjust to the physical and very demanding practices but on the whole, I'm very pleased with this group.
They are lucky because they have great role models to learn from. Georgia Schweitzer, Rochelle Parent and Missy West, who are our tri-captains, are three of the toughest players and best leaders I've ever had. They really help to make my job a lot easier.
I know this is going to be a very exciting year. With five freshmen and five sophomores on the team, I'm sure there will be times when I will want to pull my hair out. Hopefully, I'll have a few strands left at the end of the season and we'll make a run at the National Championship. Then, perhaps I wouldn't have to spend the summer thinking about winning...just one more game.
-- Coach Goestenkors