Coach Rohde Making History at NDA


Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Everyone has some sort of role model figure in their life, someone they look up to, aspire to be like, someone who can do no wrong in their eyes. For many girls here at NDA that person is Coach Sara Rohde.

Rohde is the head coach for the girls varsity basketball team, the same team that was the 2013 and 2014 Division 2 state champs.

Last week, the team finished conference play as FRCC champs for the first time since the formation of the FRCC conference, but Rohde recently celebrated another victory: 100 wins as the girls basketball head coach.

There has been a lot of hard work put in from everyone on our staff and teams to reach those 100 wins,” said Rohde.  

Never one to take the credit, she went on to explain, “We’ve been really lucky to have talented players that work their butts off and do what we ask of them. The girls are the ones who have gone out on the floor and performed.”

Many would tell you that Rohde is exactly what one would look for in a coach, for her top priority is not shiny trophies but rather the team itself and each individual girl. In fact, she wasn’t even aware of her 100-win achievement until her husband pointed it out to her.

With the playoffs in progress, talk turns immediately to state.  However, Rohde knows not to let the thought of state overwhelm daily preparation.

“We really focus on one game at a time.  It’s easy to get caught up in the talk about ‘state,’ but the reality is is that if we don’t come out ready to play every single game, our run could be short-lived,” she said.

“Our girls do a great job of focusing on the team we are playing right now and know what they need to do to be successful.”

The team is composed of primarily sophomores, which is strange compared to other schools in the area. “It is nice having a lot of young kids, but at the same time, they have a lot to learn,” said the coach. “They are a hard working class, compete every day, and truly just love basketball.”

She also appreciates the hard work from her upperclassmen. “It’s a nice balance, and it’s great we have such amazing upperclassmen to lead and set an example for the younger players.”

Practices are described as “competitive and intense,” and Rohde has no intention of slacking this far into the season. “Some days in practice we have lulls, but most days, we try to keep it competitive so that transfers to the court.”

“I’m not really a ‘motivational speaker’ before games,” said Rohde.  When it comes to the moments before a big game, Rohde likes to try to make sure everyone is prepared.  She even says she jokes around to ease some of the tension.

“After a hard loss, we watch films and look for areas of improvement. Losing really exposes what we need to get better at, and I stay honest with the team.”

With Saturday’s win over West DePere, the regional champs move on to sectional play on Thursday.  They will meet Pulaski for the third time this year at the neutral site of Kaukauna.