Sports Spotlight on Rachel Zillmer | VideoAlexander Gorney | 12/5/2012
Zillmer sees the basketball court with a whole new perspective. That`s because she has transitioned from a player to a head coach.
"Now I`m starting to realize how many headaches coach Newman and coach Fridley got from me," she said.
Zillmer was a three year starter at the University of Mary and after graduating in 2011, she immediatly became the JV coach at Saint Mary`s. But when head coach Scott Jung left to become the athletic director at South Heart, Rachel was promoted to a position that fulfills two passions in her life.
"What makes St. Mary`s different is how we`re able to bring our faith and that is the center of who we are and how were able to bring it to sports and just keep the main thing the main thing and know that basketball isn`t everything," she said.
The Saints were 7-14 last season due in part because of the teams lack of height. Zillmer was an undersized center at U-Mary but that did not stop her from leading the Conference in field goal percentage twice making her one of the most efficient players in Marauders history.
"I`m like 5`10 and in the NSIC I was the smallest post in the conference and most coaches in the conference didn`t really recruit me because I was too short. Coach Newman and Fridley both worked with me and we found that it`s a foot battle, it`s a foot fight. So that`s what I`m trying to instill in the girls. We have to go to the foot fight and wanting the ball."
"She`s very upbeat and very good at motivating us and keeping us going and it really helps and it gets us going on the floor," said senior Rachel Power.
For a team with nine seniors, the goal is to get to their first State Tournament since 1998. But if that doesn`t happen, Zillmer wants her players to walk of out St. Mary`s with this:
"I would say the philosophy I`m trying to get to these girls is attitude and effort and that`s not something I can coin as my own. I learned it under coach Fridley and coach Newman lead out at U-Mary of bring your best attitude at practice. Make yourself better, make your teammates better, make the program better. Also the effort, bring the attitude, and the effort, you`re only going to get consisently better not only in basketball but in life."
Zillmer and the Saints start the season on December 14 at home against Belcourt.
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