YAMHILL COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - History inside the new Tiger dome at Yamhill-Carlton High School.
Two women leading boys’ varsity programs coaching against one another where hoops are just hoops.
"When I did look on the schedule, I was like, ‘hey, this is going to be the first time two women are coaching against each other’ and I think that's kind of neat that you see that on the sideline. When the ball went up though, I don't think about it," Boys' Head Coach Heather Roberts said,
"I just don't think it's any different from being a girl’s coach,” Waldport Boys' Head Coach Michelle Severson said.
Never before had two female head boys’ basketball coaches met on the same court in Oregon state high school history.
"We're here to play basketball, it doesn't really matter who coaches us,” YCHS Senior Gavin Tuning said.
Roberts is in her second season leading the 3A Yamhill-Carlton Tigers and Severson is the first-year head coach of 2A Waldport, her alma mater, after spending the past few seasons leading the Irish girls’ and boys’ junior varsity.
“’'When I heard she was head coach, I was like, oh my gosh, that's cool that this is a new thing that's happening and then when the job opened up at Waldport, she was like, you should totally go apply!" Severson said.
Roberts, a Crescent Valley grad, who spent more than two decades coaching girls, became the first woman to lead a boys’ varsity program in the Beaver state since 1939, and it didn’t take another 70 years to add another to the club with Severson.
"Not that this one wasn't a big deal too but it's not as big of a deal now. With all of this going on, with what we see at the NBA with all of the different women getting hired, it's becoming a more normal thing that women can coach boys just like women can coach girls,” Roberts said.
Roberts’ twin tower sons, Malachi and Moroni are freshman playing for mom.
“They think that she is a pretty good coach and I think everyone likes her pretty well,” Moroni said.
“There doesn't seem to be any hate towards her or hate towards us being coaches sons or anything,” Malachi said.
“I thought they were going to be pretty good and thought it would be really fun to coach them which is why I got into coaching boys in the first place,” Roberts said.
While this non-league matchup was notable, Roberts and Severson are out blend in as the norm across high school gyms in Oregon.
"We just want good people coaching, it doesn't matter if it's male or female, we just want positive role models,” Roberts said.
While the Tigers won the day, this was a win-win for all parties.
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