When the Pequot Lakes girls basketball team kicked off its new season on Thursday, Nov. 30, it did so with Katrina Moody as the new head coach of the Patriots.
Moody was hired as a math teacher and coach in the spring. She was a three-sport athlete at Barnum High School, where her father is the head coach of the boys basketball team. Her team qualified for four state tournaments, winning a state title her senior year.
"I think I just grew up in (the sport)," Moody said. "I think a lot of it has to do with our family, but a lot of it has to do with our community. Barnum is a basketball community and it always has been. If you were athletic at all, you had to play basketball."
After graduating, Moody played basketball at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. After graduating and teaching in Willow River for a year, she became a teacher in Little Falls and served as an assistant coach for the Flyers basketball team.
"It's a team sport, but individually you can work the entire team," she said. "It's really hard coaching now, because I have to stand on the sidelines and can't do anything else. I'm getting over that, and I know every coach has to do that, but it's been a little hard."
Her father, a long-time social studies and coach for the Bombers, was a major influence in Moody's decision to pursue a career in education and coaching.
"Watching him teach and interact with the kids - and seeing the impact he had on the kids - and being that way on the floor made me want to do that too," Moody said. "I think I had a great role model, so hopefully I can follow that."
Now in her first season as a head coach, Moody hopes to establish a more reserved coaching style, giving her athletes the opportunity to play the game when the time comes and using practice as a chance to teach them.
"I have had a lot of different coaches over the years, and I think a lot people see things (their coaches do) and say 'I don't want to do that,'" Moody said. "I think what I try to do is really teach in practice and let the girls do it on gameday. I am not going to be that coach running up and down the sideline, yelling the whole time and telling them what moves to make and when. I want to teach my girls to know how to do that.
"I don't like to yell ... I think I'm more of the 'you do this, and we'll talk about it' type. I'm not a yeller, per se. I've had a lot of those."
After two games and two weeks of practice, Moody is confident in the athletes she has this season and expects good things from the experienced seniors and juniors on the team.
"We have some strong seniors and some strong juniors ... We have a lot of talented girls. For me, I focus more on the defensive side. I've always been that way - in high school and all the way through college. Trying to get them to buy into that is what we have worked on the most. If we play defense the way we can, it is going to work out for us."
Though she feels defense is her specialty, she hopes to implement a college-style run-and-gun offense in the Patriots play style - influenced by the number of successful track athletes on her team.
"We want to play a fast-paced game." Moody said. "You can look at the list of girls (on the team). A lot of them are in track and a lot of them went to state last year for jumping or running. Why don't we use that a bit more on the court? ... I think we would be very tough if we get into that."
The Patriots will host Proctor on Friday, Dec. 8.