Salem Lady Greyhounds under new leadership
“They can’t ever say we’re not out there giving it our all,” said Salem High School’s new head girls basketball coach, Josh Bateman. At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, coach Josh Bateman was hired at Salem High School. After having coached boys basketball at Tuckerman and Bay High Schools, Bateman moved to Salem because of the area and community.
He is new to coaching girls basketball this year but is excited about the change and the challenges it brings. When asked about the differences, he discussed personalities and the difference of the speed of the game between the two. In terms of his coaching style and how it has changed this year, he was certain that nothing has changed saying, “My boys at Tuckerman might say I’m a little nicer. But as far as how I coach, there is nothing any different.”
Bateman strongly believes in team bonding and growing together as a whole; discussing how he believes the biggest challenge this year is connecting as a team. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, it has brought up new and different challenges. Bateman began practices in June but could not begin any real contact until August, when school started and restrictions had lifted. Another challenge is dealing with whether he will have a whole team each day due to some being sent home for a short period of time because of possible exposure to COVID-19. “My junior high team has played a total of about 14 games and I think I have had them all there together for only four.” says Bateman.
Nevertheless, the lady greyhounds have persevered. With a record of 10 wins to four losses and an estimated eight games left in the season, Bateman was optimistic of a district and a possible state playoff. When asked about his coaching style and how that helps the girls’ progress, he said that he is very intense but not too intense and has a drive to win each game, he also felt like his personality fits better coaching girls, than in the past coaching boys.
Bateman is a big family man, married to wife, Ashley Bateman. The couple has two children, a seven-year-old boy, Kooper and Raya, his five-year-old daughter. He often reflects his family orientation in his coaching. Preaching every day to his girls to be great teammates and apart of the group, “If you do that, the winning takes care of itself.” Bateman stressed that he has had great support from his family and the school administration in this period of change. “The school and community have been great to me I definitely love it here.” With support, hard work and determination, the Lady Greyhounds get better each and every day.
When asked about the team as a whole and how he wants his program to be reflected and perceived by the community and parents of his girls he said “I want people to think and be able to tell the team works hard and it is a team atmosphere. I want people to know that my team is playing hard and always acting right.”
From the outside, the Salem High School Lady Greyhound’s basketball team seems like a team with a new coach and a fresh start, having a great season so far and lots of optimism for the future. But for Bateman, it is so much more. He may be building a team, but he is also building a family; while preaching team bonding and a good atmosphere. With a great love for the game and a passion for winning, Coach Bateman is ready for any challenge he might face and brining his Lady Greyhounds right along with him to victory.