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Gallant is new Falcon girls' hoop coach
RUMFORD -- It will be a new experience, however, Tammy Gallant is confident she has the right qualities to mentor the Mountain Valley High School girls’ basketball team.
The Rumford native was hired as the varsity coach of the Lady Falcons by the RSU 10 school board last month. There were skeptics when a change was made, but Gallant is prepared to prove the correct decision has been made.
“I am definitely ready for the challenge,” said Gallant. “I might have only two years of coaching experience, but I have played and watched basketball at all levels since I was a little girl. I love the game and I have been analyzing games from the sidelines for many years.”
Gallant stressed how much she loves being around kids, watching them learn, grow, and have fun. She realized last year that she wanted to help change the program for the girls. RSU 10 changed the policy for teachers to apply for coaching positions first. It gave Gallant, who
teaches at the middle school, the opportunity to make that change possible. She had a conversation with the girls about applying and it didn't take long to make the final decision to apply.
Gallant replaces Rich Allen, who had coached the team for five years and is employed by Franklin Savings Bank. He is a non-district employee, so when the position was automatically opened, then Gallant, being a district employee, had the right to apply.
Gallant wants the players to help make the rules, so the first practice will be a "sit down on the court" type of practice to create team rules, expectations, and set team goals.
“I have been in education for 23 years and know that when you give kids a say in what they do, they will take ownership of it. I want these girls to have a voice in their own program and for it to be player driven,” said Gallant.
Gallant’s philosophy is "kids come first” and believes coaching basketball just doesn't take place on the court. Tt is a bigger picture than that.
“These girls today have so much on their plate,” said Gallant. “A coach has to recognize what is happening off the court, too to have a successful program. Every player will set individual goals and know what their role is on the team. A team is only as good as the last player off your bench! I totally agree with it."
The team will be attending the Team SWISH Camp at USM this month. The returning players include seniors Ayla Allen, Kaitlin Armstrong, Chrissy Briggs and Makayla White; Juniors Darby Brown, Abby Day, Brooke Dolloff, Makenzie Gallant; and Soph. Katie Puiia.