MARSHALL, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s state tournament time, so there’s a pretty good chance Dan Westby and the Marshall Tigers are participating.
Coach Westby’s philosophy is to start working with his girls’ basketball and volleyball teams early.
“The thing I like about our kids is we get them in the fourth grade. They’re with us all the way through,” Westby said. “Our kids are extremely committed, and we feel pretty fortunate that way.”
They were state runner-up in basketball last week, and were state champions in volleyball last fall. The roster on both teams is primarily the same people.
The most important time frame is in the summer, which is when the two-sport coach can coach two sports.
“Typical day for our kids in the summer is two hours of volleyball in the morning and two hours of basketball in the afternoon,” he said. “And to get that kind of commitment out of kids I think is pretty rare these days.”
In this day and age, and with Junior Olympic programs in volleyball and AAU in basketball, specialization is the norm. But that’s not the case in Marshall.
“We get asked that question a lot, and our kids are really good about it. Our volleyball kids won’t pick up a volleyball until our basketball season is over,” Westby said. “That’s kind of old school, but, you know, our kids have handled it really well.”
And it’s driven by Westby, who understands sports and his athletes.