LAMOILLE — LaMoille High School athletic director Brent Ziegler coached the Lady Lions varsity basketball team during the summer league on an interim basis. He’s ready to hand it over to his new head coach.
Ziegler said he has made a recommendation to hire Holli Rapp as the new head coach, subject to board approval. Rapp comes to LaMoille, having coached around the area for several years. She is presently coaching the freshmen volleyball team at St. Bede and previously was varsity assistant and head F/S girls basketball coach at Amboy High School.
Ziegler would like to see the Lady Lions become more consistent year in and year out and believes Rapp’s background will help her get the job down.
“I’ve known Holli for a number of years. She just displayed a great deal of knowledge what I’ve seen combined with the interview. She seemed very knowledgeable about the game, very knowledgeable about our school district and I think she’s an overall sports individual,” Ziegler said.
“For where I’d like to see the program go, I think she just fits that profile. I’d like to see the program move to build our younger grades. We’ll have a couple decent players, then a drought, couple decent players … I’m trying to establish that program, where we’re consistently competitive. It’s tough to do at a small school. I just felt she’s worked at some of the smaller schools that have been able to develop some pretty decent programs and thought I’d give her an import and see what she can do.
Rapp, 35, showed an interest in the Lady Lions two years ago and is excited to get the opportunity now. She’s watched some of the team’s summer league games at Princeton and believes they have a lot of potential, even though they had some big graduation losses.
“They work hard and will continue to work hard. We’ve got to work on fundamentals and play smart basketball and I think we’ll get there,” she said.
The new coach wants to get more kids out for basketball from the two schools.
“We only had 14 or 15 girls out last year in the program. There’s too many good athletes walking the halls in both schools not to be participating,” she said. “I know coaching at St. Bede, you can be a multiple-sport athlete. Small schools like LaMoille can’t go without having multi-sport athletes.”
Rapp is a firm believer is starting players out at a young age at the Biddy Ball level.
“I think they’re never too young to play basketball,” she said. “I remember when I was in high school (at Mendota) when (coach) Randy Weibel started with the first- and second-grade back then. That’s the group that went down to state for those years.”
Ziegler said board approval could be made within a week before the next scheduled board meeting to allow Rapp some contact time this summer with the LaMoille/Ohio co-op team.