Photo by Robert Turner
Grainger Today Correspondent
WASHBURN – Last Thursday night, after the Washburn High School Lady Pirates scored a convincing 52-21 victory over Tennessee School for the Deaf, Lady Pirate head coach Daniel Bishop was honored for the 100th victory in his Lady Pirate coaching career.
“As a coach you take pride in winning,” said Bishop of his 100th win. “It’s all about the team and the players. I’ve not made any shots or played defense or scored any points. I’ve had some pretty good teams.”
Bishop, who coached the Lady Pirates for five years beginning with the 2007-08 season before coaching football at Grainger High School, is now entering his third season since returning to Washburn as an assistant principal. “In my eight years as coach, I’ve had great support from our principal, Ginny McElhaney, and our athletic director, Aaron Clay,” said Bishop.
During his first tenure, Bishop took the Lady Pirate team to play in a tournament at Disney World twice, and has taken the team back once since returning to sidelines for the Lady Pirates. “I think those trips have been a good step in building the team,” said Bishop. “It shows the kids that you care about them, and it lets them know that you want to win games and do things that help build the team up. Those kinds of things help get the players to buy into the program.”
While the team played well in the first five years of Bishop’s coaching tenure, his current tenure is becoming more successful.
Two years ago, the Lady Pirates 18-11 record established a new Washburn record for wins in a season. That was followed by 16 wins last year, and the current team is undefeated through eight games. It should also be noted that the Lady Pirates have advanced to region play in each of the years Bishop has coached.
“I’ve had a lot of good things happen,” said Bishop. “I’ve had 1,000-point scorers in Ashley Meyers and Brandy Beeler, and there is a strong chance that Haley Nicley, a senior on this years team, will be able to reach the one thousand point level before she completes her playing career.”
That possibility becomes stronger as Nicley is leading the team in scoring this season and that continued success by the team will provide more games in her career.
“A lot of people didn’t think we would be real good this year,” said Bishop of the team that will give him a good start on his second hundred victories. “This team really plays well together. They’re fun to coach and play hard together. If we keep doing those things, we will have a chance for some wins.”