Lady Tigers basketball head coach seeks tradition
When Amy Blanchard took the head coaching job for the girl's basketball team at Donaldsonville High in August, she knew traditionally the Tigers always had talent and traditionally the Tigers win. After DHS didn't make the playoffs last year, Blanchard's hopes now are to just reestablish what the coaches before her instilled in the program so the girls she coaches now know the Tiger tradition.
Blanchard coached at St. James High School for seven years. There, she was in a similar position she is in now, working to improve a program. It's no secret that Donaldsonville and St. James are rivals, and with Blanchard joining the Tigers, she said she's gotten some comments. Blanchard said that's what makes it fun. With a good history and foundation that has been laid before her, Blanchard said it adds a little pressure when she stands courtside.
"When you talk about Donaldsonville, you automatically think girl's basketball," Blanchard said. "If I wasn't a competitor I would've backed down from it and it's going to drive me."
With a young team and new coach the Tigers have had some tough close losses this season. None more memorable for the players than the Jamboree game against in-town rivals, Ascension Catholic High.
"To me it wasn't a big deal," Blanchard said about the loss. "It was more of a big deal to the girls because of all the media outlets kind of built of rivalries. I think we've made huge improvements since then. We get better every single time we get out and play and practice. That was just a little jamboree."
Blanchard said Jamborees are just dress rehearsals to her. But she said, hopefully it lit a fire under the team. With this being a building year, Blanchard isn't bothered by the hype of cementing a legacy just yet. She's just looking to take "baby steps" with this program.
"This year making the playoffs is the goal," Blanchard said. "Eventually advance further and further and get back into the semis and finals in a couple of years."
As far as keeping the community supporting the program, Blanchard thinks it will realize the potential the team has and will like the way the program is running. Blanchard said once they start seeing the points on the board and the pressing defenses, the community will have a fun basketball game to see.
"Every school you go to is different, but no matter where you go or what you, everybody likes a winner," Blanchard said. "And if you start winning people start coming out."