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Johnna Fisher believes she found the ideal opportunity when she became the head coach at Winchester

Time:2017-12-07 13:37Shoes websites Click:

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Stephen Tobey stobey@wickedlocal.com @stobeywlsports

After playing Division I college basketball and spending time as an AAU coach and a high school and college assistant coach, Johnna Fisher believes she found the ideal opportunity when she became the head coach at Winchester High.

“I come from Winthrop, which is a small town, like Winchester,” Fisher said. “I like the small-town feel. The school is a new building. Athletic director Marc Arria and principal Dennis Mahoney were very welcoming. It’s also been a good opportunity to work alongside the boys coach, John Fleming, who has been very helpful.”

Fisher, who played her high school basketball at Winthrop, played at Central Connecticut State University, where she graduated in 2015, for three years. She’s coached in the Connecticut Storm and Mass. Huskies AAU programs and been an assistant coach at Winthrop.

For a year, she was on the coaching staff at UMass-Boston but she ultimately decided she wanted to coach at the high school level.

“I didn’t want to be recruiting kids,” she said. “I wanted to be involved in making kids better people and students, as well as better players. I’ve been in their shoes. I played in college. They may not, but at some point, they’re going to need some guidance and I’d like to be a role model that they can go to.”

On Sunday, Dec. 3, Winchester wrapped up its first week of official practice with a scrimmage against Malden.

“We’re in a rebuilding stage,” Fisher said. “We have 13 or 14 varsity players. They’re working hard. They play together well. We’ll rely on quickness and athleticism.”

Some of the current Sachems are coming off successful seasons in fall sports. Fisher sees their experience and athletic abilities as assets.

“We’re very excited about that,” she said. “We have one kid who played soccer and a couple of field hockey players. Their drive to be successful is enormous. Their lateral movement, especially with soccer players, is great. They can get up and down the court. They’re in shape, which makes our job easier.”

One objective Fisher has is to work with the youth program to get younger athletes excited about basketball and to give them something to aspire to when they get to the ninth grade.

“We’re working with Gary Grassey, who does a great job with the youth program,” Fisher said. “We’ll have a fifth or sixth grader each week who will sit with the team on the bench on Friday nights. We want the younger players to know who we are.”

This season, Winchester has four seniors, captains Shannon Crowe, Clare Lawler and Abby Bourdeau and Shannon McGurl .

“We have great leadership with our seniors,” Fisher said.

This winter, Fisher hopes the Sachems can qualify for the MIAA tournament. That’s something Winchester has not done in a while, but she believes it’s doable, even in a league as challenging as the Middlesex League.

“It’s a great league with a lot of outstanding coaches,” Fisher said. “On any given night any team can beat any other team.”

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