|Husband-and-wife duo will lead Scorpions basketball|
|Written by Staci Gasser|
|Friday, 23 November 2012 00:00|
The boys and girls basketball teams at Sedona Red Rock High School are gearing up for a new season, one they believe they have a chance of dominating.
The boost of tenacity comes from a new coaching duo, a husband and wife team, who bring skill, experience and confidence to the Scorpions.
Greg and Jackie Strickling came to SRRHS this summer after Greg Strickling took the job as the boys head coach. With them, they brought his Nike-sponsored program, GSB [Gregory Strickling Basketball] Nike.
Strickling, who coached at Chapparal High School in Scottsdale and Scottsdale Community College before coming to Sedona, started the program three years ago with Jackie Strickling. After one year of the program, Nike began sponsoring it. It molds kids into great student athletes with the goal of signing to play basketball at a Division I university, and the Scorpions have been a part of that since the summer.
“We’ve spent the summer teaching them how to practice and how to train,” Greg Strickling said. “Education, training and practice — those are the core values. I try to use all the resources I have to show them it’s really not that hard, but the par for competitive sports.”
The biggest challenge Strickling has faced so far is changing the mentality of Scorpions basketball, meaning instilling the goal of working hard every day and expecting players to be successful. He is also trying to implement a winning tradition.
“It all starts with how you approach the game,” Strickling said.
Strickling’s goal is to bring home the state championship, something he believes the boys can easily achieve.
“They are going to be so good,” Strickling said. “I’m proud of them even at this point, making the choice of wanting to be better and working hard.”
“We are working harder than ever before, have the best coach I’ve ever had and I’m looking forward to start winning some games,” said senior Steven Sundberg, the player Strickling says the team is going to live and die with.
The boys’ schedule is the same as last year, but may be a little tougher with better talent all over Northern Arizona.
“I just want the boys to focus on being tough and giving 110 [percent] everyday,” Strickling said. “I tell them all the time, life is about faith and fear, the two Fs. It’s either one or the other, choose one. I want them to leave here knowing they can accomplish anything they want to accomplish, which right now is basketball. But it’s about confidence and going for it.”
Strickling is coaching both the varsity and junior varsity teams.
Jackie Strickling took the girls head coaching position when Tina Hawes resigned this summer.
“When the position opened up, I was definitely interested in coaching the girls, helping them improve their game and helping them pursue college experience if that is something they want to do,” Strickling said.
Strickling coached Pinnacle High School girls basketball in Phoenix to five state championships before moving to Sedona and has been pushing the girls
For the full story, please see the Friday, Nov. 23, issue of the Red Rock News.