Joliet Catholic assistants are real player-coaches
Updated: October 4, 2011 7:08PM
When you’re the top-ranked team and are playing 22 matches in a 22-day span, it helps to have good assistant coaches.
Especially ones who know you.
That’s certainly what Joliet Catholic coach Christine Scheibe has this season. Three of her former players — varsity assistant Erin Petric, sophomore assistant Lauren Las, and freshman coach Kara (Grossklaus) Camarda — are on Scheibe’s staff.
“I love it from the standpoint that they know me and I didn’t have to teach them what the program is all about,” Scheibe said. “They know what the program is all about.”
Petric was the first to play for Scheibe. That was back in Morris in 1993, when Petric was a freshman on Scheibe’s sophomore team.
“My mom, Janine, was her (Scheibe’s) teacher in eighth grade,” Petric said. “So it’s all come full circle.”
Petric works as a teacher at Stagg High School, where she coached through the 2010 season. A chance meeting led to her joining the Angels staff.
“My mom ran into Chris and they started talking,” Petric said. “That just happened in the spring and it all worked out with me coming over to Joliet Catholic.
“It’s really neat to be a part of this and I’ve learned a lot.”
Las is also in her first season as a sophomore assistant. Both Las and Camarda were seniors on the Angels’ first state champion team in 2003. Camarda is now in her fourth season as the freshman coach.
“We were undefeated on the freshman level my first two seasons, and those players are now on the varsity,” Camarda said. “That says a lot for the program. I know what Christine is looking for and it’s more like a reaching level on the freshmen level.”
A moment in the Angels’ ’03 run is one that Camarda loves to use as inspiring moment. That was when Joliet Catholic saved five consecutive match points and scored seven straight points to win Game 2 en route to a 17-25, 26-24, 25-18 victory over Andrew in the supersectional.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Camarda said. “We had angels on our side, but I always tell that story and tell the girls never to give up.”
Meeting of coaching legends
On Friday, Joliet Catholic and Lockport will face off in pool play in the Mizuno Cup Tournament.
It will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Angels defeated host Lockport 15-13, 15-9 for the regional championship on Nov. 2, 2002. That was the
last season of the old side out scoring.
It will also be a final meeting between two of the top coaches in the area, Lockport’s Julia Hudson and Joliet Catholic’s Christine Scheibe. Through Monday the two had combined to win 1,212 matches, four state championships and 11 state trophies.
“Seeing that matchup brought a smile to my face,” said retiring Lockport coach Julia Hudson, who has 843 wins in her 32 seasons as Porters coach. “Joliet Catholic is always a very solid team on serve and serve receive, but we’ll be ready.”