Brian Holloway is a fan of history, especially that of Moundridge High School girls basketball.
So he knows better than anybody the legacy he hopes to uphold.
Holloway recently was named as the Wildcats’ head coach after Vicky Kessler announced her retirement this past spring after two separate stints. Kessler led the Wildcats to the Class 2A state championship game this past season (losing to Central Plains) and was an assistant to Sue Hetzke during MHS’ incredible four-year state title run (1996-99) that earned those teams a spot in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame this summer.
Holloway, who was a Wildcat standout himself under coach Vance Unrau before going on for a highly successful career at McPherson College for coach Roger Trimmell, is eager for the challenge.
“I'm excited to take over the head coaching position,” Holloway said. “I feel that I have some big shoes to fill. I believe every coach in the past 20 years has taken a team to the state tournament. And with the success of last year, we will be looked at to make it back again.”
Graduation hit the Wildcats hard, but Holloway is undaunted.
“We lost four solid seniors (Michelle Schrag, Cassidy Siemens, Anna Stucky and Michelle Morrison) off a team that finished runner-up and they will be tough to replace,” he said. “But I do feel like we have the quality to do that.”
Fortunately for Holloway, whose sisters Tara and Deena played a big role in the Wildcats’ glorious history (and his brother Jacy is arguably the best boys player in school history), he welcomes back one of the state’s top players in 5-6 guard Ashley Holler. She averaged 15 points a game, but was more than just a scorer as she also had solid marks in rebounds, assists and steals.
“Ashely is our top scoring threat,” Holloway said. “She is capable of driving and scoring as well as shooting the 3.”
Also back is 5-5 guard Peri Lange. “Peri will be looked to provide leadership and intensity,” Holloway said. “She will be asked to increase her scoring this year.”
Bethany Stucky, who probably will be the Wildcats’ tallest player at 5-9, contributed as a freshman and like Lange will be counted on to increase her production.
“We also bring up four top JV players off an undefeated junior varsity team, juniors Natalie Kaufman, Lexi Lorimor, Chelsey Knight and sophomore Kassidy Kaufman,” Holloway said.
Also being elevated is Andrew Scheef, who will serve as Holloway’s assistant coach. He’s been the junior high coach who has helped prep the current players, so Holloway is expecting a seamless transition.