The success of Poland Girls Basketball over the last two years is well known throughout the area. People can debate back and forth what makes them great. But if you talk to coach Blanch it all boils down to one thing, leadership. Last seasons senior group has been described by coach Blanch as the best leaders he has ever coached. Surely, this year’s group of leaders would have a lot to live up to. However, the captains of today have done a great job in balancing the lessons learned from years past, and embracing their own personalities and leadership skills.
The three captains this season for Poland are seniors Kailyn Brown, and Brooke Bobbey alongside junior Jackie Grisdale. Put in this position by coach Blanch, he believed that these three could step up and lead this team by example. The responsibilities for a captain go way beyond meeting at half court in Poland’s program. These three are in charge of keeping the delicate family bond of the team as strong as its always been. They have to do things the right way not just in the games, but in practice. The captains must be the rocks the team can lean on in times of adversity.
For these three they will all admit it didn’t get off to a great start. They felt in the preseason scrimmages and practices they weren’t doing enough of what was required. Coach Blanch was not afraid to call them on it either. But before the season started they got themselves together and decided how much they wanted this team to succeed. It was the little things the girls improved on throughout the season. For example being able to adjust a tone of a conversation based on which teammate they were talking to. Kailyn says it was easy to lead when she has such a good example of how Coach Blanch leads her. That makes the phrase “it all starts at the top” truer than ever in this program. Coach Blanch’s lead and attitude has trickled down into his player leadership and that’s why his program has become a force to be reckoned with in all of northeast Ohio.
The season is winding down as Poland heads into the district championship against West Branch Saturday night. We couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up the season of Player Profiles than taking a look inside the Captains Quarters. Anthony Hartwig sat down with all three captains this week to discuss the season, the leadership dynamic they bring to the table, and so much more. Please enjoy the final Poland Girls Basketball Player Profile of the season!