Schradle named New Richmond girls basketball coach
Basketball coaching is something of a tradition in the Schradle family.
Schradle is a 1997 graduate of Turtle Lake High School. He’s been involved in basketball coaching for 15 years before finally getting his first chance to be a varsity coach.
“It’s a long time coming,” Schradle said. “It’s always been a goal of mine to be a head coach and have my own program.”
Schradle has seen two of his brothers become varsity coaches before him. His older brother, Mike, was the head boys basketball coach at Clayton before becoming Clayton’s athletic director. Mike turned the Clayton boys coaching position over to another of the Schradle brothers, Nick.
While girls basketball fans know Schradle for his work with the Tiger JV team, families with younger children will know Schradle for the “Little Dribblers” program he began in New Richmond three years ago. This free program gives kids in kindergarten, first grade and second grade a chance to learn their basketball basics in a fun atmosphere. Each child gets a basketball as part of the Little Dribblers season.
This year, there were 160 kids who took part in the Little Dribblers program. When he began the program, Schradle’s goal was to ensure there would be healthy numbers of girls coming up through the basketball program.
“I saw a need there for kindergarten, first grade and second grade kids to get a ball in their hands,” Schradle said.
Interest has grown every year, especially among young girls. Schradle said there were 70 girls among this year’s 160 kids in the program.
Schradle takes over a girls basketball program plagued by low numbers. There will be three players returning from last year’s varsity team. The junior varsity team only had six players left by the end of last season and the C team only had seven girls left.
Improving the numbers in the program is one of Schradle’s first goals. There are 15 eighth graders signed up to play next year, which is a good first step. He hopes to recruit more girls from the volleyball and soccer programs. Schradle said every girl in the program will have an opportunity to prove themselves.
“Those varsity spots are up for grabs. It’ll be pretty much decided on what they do this summer to prepare themselves,” Schradle said.
With only one starter returning (Hannah Simpson), the opportunities couldn’t be better for the younger players.
Along with those opportunities come expectations. Schradle wants his team to play an aggressive, physical style, which carries some requirements.
“We’ve got to get stronger. Tiger Strength will be huge,” he said.
Expect to see an entertaining style of ball from the Tigers. Schradle describes his coaching style as “energetic, vocal.” He’s expecting that to reflect in the team’s play.
“Hopefully, you’ll see a team that puts forth a lot of effort and enthusiasm, a team that’s fun to watch,” he said.
There will also be changes in the New Richmond girls hockey coaching staff. Head coach Emily Dabrowski has stepped down. Dabrowski and her husband, Dylan, are expecting their first child in June. Dabrowski will be keeping her job as the New Richmond girls varsity softball coach, which she started this year.
“Two sports wouldn’t have worked with having a family now,” Dabrowski said. “I’m starting my next chapters: family and softball.”
There have been several applicants for the varsity coaching position and interviews are planned to be conducted in the upcoming weeks.