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Players turned coaches

Syd Walther, Sports Writer

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“You always find your way back home.” This statement continues to hold true as not only one, but two Xavier former girls’ basketball players rejoin the program as coaches.

For Ashley Stulken (X13) and Caitlin Kray (X09), not much has changed since their time on the court.

“My favorite thing as a player was being able to compete with teammates that I considered family,” Stulken said. “As a coach, I like to be able to fuel an athlete’s passion and watch them grow as teammates.”

For the former First Team All-State member, Stulken’s goal of being a team and forming a sense of community is essential to her coaching philosophy. This season she is striving to reinforce these values.

“I love the opportunity to be back at Xavier, because it gave me so much,” Stulken said. “One thing that I would love to see is more student attendance at home games. It helps to have the support of the student section.”

Kray shares these same passions, but her plans for the girls are more meaningful than winning a game.

“As a coach I want to teach more than just basketball,” Kray said. “I want the girls to be prepared for after high school and for their future endeavors.”

The season is well underway, but the girls are excited to continue to learn from those who have been in their shoes.

Although the alumni are jv coaches, the varsity players, such as junior wing Avery Campbell, are looking forward to their impact as well.

“Having these coaches come back to Xavier to help a program they know and love is a strong attribute to the team,” Campbell said. “Their positivity and easy-going attitudes bring much-needed energy.”

The Saints are currently 5-3. They played Cedar Rapids Jefferson on Friday, December 15 and Cedar Rapids Kennedy on Tuesday, December 19, both at home. They play next on Friday, January 5 at Cedar Rapids Prairie at 7:30 p.m.

Syd Walther

Sports Writer

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Players turned coaches