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Former Morgan athlete Sarah Thompson recently completed her first season as coach of the Old Saybrook girls’ hoops JV team. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Thompson )
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Sarah Thompson had a great career as a basketball player in the Shoreline Conference. This winter, Sarah returned to the floor in a new capacity with a different team.
Sarah is a 2013 graduate of The Morgan School, where she earned All-State honors in field hockey, softball, and basketball. She went on to play field hockey at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.
Last spring, Sarah joined the softball team at Old Saybrook High School as an assistant coach. This year, she got back on the basketball court by serving as the JV coach for the Rams’ girls’ basketball squad.
Sarah likes how sports teaches lessons that help athletes long beyond their playing days are over.
“I love to show the girls how much they can get from athletics,” says Sarah, a Clinton resident. “From it, they can learn hard work and how going that extra mile can help them and how they can carry that beyond athletics. That is a huge thing for me as a coach.”
While Old Saybrook’s varsity team saw some struggles this season, Sarah felt proud to see the Rams stay dedicated by giving their all throughout the campaign. Sarah is hoping that the success of Old Saybrook’s JV squad translates to good things on the varsity floor next year.
“This season wasn’t a banner year, which can be tough on players mentally, but seeing them ready to go daily was rewarding as a coach,” Sarah says. “The JV team is meant to be a building block for the varsity team, so it was great to see them have a good amount of wins.”
Five years removed from competing in Shoreline Conference, Sarah feels that there’s a familiar balance of power in effect among the teams in the league. Still, Sarah is ready to help get her players get on the path that can potentially lead them to the top of the conference.
“It seems a lot of the teams that were dominant in the league when I played are still the dominant teams. It was fun to be back at Morgan and coach against them,” says Sarah, who topped the 1,000-point mark during her high school career. “I still think there is a great chance to try and get that Shoreline title.”
Old Saybrook’s Head Coach Steve Woods says that Sarah knows how to get the best out of her athletes. Woods likes how Sarah steers them toward success with her words of encouragement.
“Sarah brings excellent knowledge of the game and is a great communicator,” says Woods. “Soft spoken, but intense, Sarah sets a great tone and example for our kids.”
Sarah knows that there’s plenty of work to be done if Old Saybrook wants to become a premier program in the state. She’s looking to see incremental improvements on day-by-day basis in the Rams’ quest to get there.
“The biggest goals for me are getting Shoreline and state titles. For smaller goals, it’s about seeing them improve daily and get an above .500 record,” Sarah says. “Those would also be great, but I would just love to see a championship banner up there.”
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