Saying there had been no “repercussions” in the past for such actions as being late or unacceptable talk, Mrs. Crews said varsity girls now “want to be disciplined. That’s kind of a new angle.” In fact, she said, workouts during athletics now are so rigorous that “if you’re not crying and curled up in a fetal position by the end of the period, you’re going to make it.”
Mrs. Crews, a Gilmer High graduate and former GHS basketball player, has worked for GISD during two stints separated by several years at other schools. She said that three years ago, Gilmer High only had 52 girls in varsity athletics— “not a big number” and “you did not have to be in athletics (class) to be in sports.”
Now, she said, athletics involves lifting weights and other activities aimed at building “mental toughness.” And while 35 current 8th grade girls will come into the high school program next year, “we’re going to have 30-plus kids playing each (high school) sport,” she said.
Mrs. Crews also noted successes in the girls’ athletic program. She said she was “almost positive” that the girls track team’s victory in the prior Friday’s Gilmer Buckeye Relays was the first time Gilmer females had won their own meet since 1994.
In addition, she said, “our Junior High has been extremely successful.” The 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams won their respective tournaments, while the 8th grade girls won district in both volleyball and basketball, Mrs. Crews said.
The coordinator also praised the School Board, telling trustees that “your efforts to hire the coaches that we’ve hired have been wonderful.” She added she is trying to bring in “protégées” of hers, and is recruiting coaches.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Mrs. Crews added, saying “I want to see a group graduate” after she starts work with those athletes when they were 7th graders. She also said she plans to reinstate the “Little Dribblers” basketball program for very young girls.
School Supt. Rick Albritton told the board “We’re going to be buying more uniforms” for girls’ sports since “enthusiasm” has risen for them lately. “Her (Mrs. Crews’s) budget is going to be increasing, probably,” he added.
“I do appreciate the passion, the character of our girls,” Albritton said. He further said the female athletic program provided girls a sense of “family.”