Jodi Lee takes over Silverwolves program
Feb 27, 2019 04:29PM
By Greg James
The Silverwolves leading scorer is senior Kaitlin Burgess, she is averaging nearly 15 points per game. (photo courtesy of dsandersonpics.com)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Taking over for a school icon can be a daunting experience. New Riverton High School girls basketball head coach Jodi Lee knows the feeling.
Ron Ence had been the only head coach the girls program at Riverton had ever had. The school opened in 1999, and the team won a state championship in 2013. Lee took over at the beginning of the school year after being the head coach at Taylorsville.
“I want nothing but the best for my old Taylorsville team,” Lee said. “My move was nothing more than a proximity thing. My commute is more than cut in half. The opportunity came about and I took it. There is pressure in taking over for coach Ence. Most of that is my own insecurities. I need to be confident in my own abilities. The man taught me a lot. He excelled at getting the best out of his kids.”
Ence continues to teach at the school and coaches girls tennis in the fall.
“I knew in the first year there would be some ups and downs,” Lee said. “There have been a lot of ups. I think that we could be better. I am getting to know these girls, and we have a good group of girls. I do not have to worry about if they are going to class. Their grades are up where they need to be. It was emotional to leave Taylorsville, but I knew there were good girls everywhere.”
The Silverwolves finished with 3-5 region record in fourth place. They beat West Jordan twice and Herriman once this season.
“Sometimes we have been a better team,” Lee said. “Like tonight (after a 47-43 loss at Taylorsville), we got beat by a better team. They were able to key in on our best player and shut her down.”
Kaitlin Burgess has led the team in scoring averaging 14.7 points per game. Taylorsville held her in check in the loss, where she went scoreless.
“I was really proud of her,” Lee said. “Taylorsville locked in on her, but she contributed in many ways. I am not sure how we win anytime without her scoring a bucket.”
In games that Burgess is held under her average, the Silverwolves are 3-6.
Senior Megan Hedrick leads the team in rebounding with 9.2 per game. The 6-foot-1-inch senior has grabbed a season high 15 boards twice this season.
“I think our team is learning that any team can win on any night,” Lee said. “We have got to be better at focusing on that and not letting our record get in the way.”
Returning to Taylorsville for the first time to coach against the girls she had mentored for four years was difficult.
“This game was full of emotion,” Lee said. “I want nothing but the best for those girls. I talked to some of the seniors before the game and told them I would do anything for them. I want it to get that way here at Riverton. I think this is a great group of girls.”
Riverton finished fourth in Region 3 and qualified for the girls state tournament. It began Feb. 18 at Salt Lake Community College. Riverton blasted Cyprus 70-30 in its first-round game.