This season, the girls basketball team is lead by a new head coach, David Kosa. And, no, his own original motto, PEACH, is not a reference to the fruit.
Instead, it is an acronym that he created during a drive to work and implemented as a part of transforming the girls basketball program at the high school.
“It stands for positive, enthusiasm, aggressive, communication and hard work. It’s our motivating cry as we go through the season, but we also hope to incorporate it into our practices,” Kosa said. “Wherever I’ve coached, I’ve tried to implement that philosophy, and I think it really helps the team bond together and gives us a common thread.”
Even though the chant was created on a whim, the team has embraced the philosophy going into the season.
“It’s kind of something we’re taking on as a team, because we always want to communicate. It’s our cheer coming out of the huddle, and everyday we want to make sure we’re displaying the qualities of [it],” said Captain Taylor Stone ’18.
Since 1995, Kosa has coached at five high schools, most recently at Piscataway High School. With sixteen years of previous coaching experience, Kosa was assigned to coach at PHS this past June. His first step was to introduce new practice tactics and strategies, as well as assess the team’s individual weaknesses.
“From an offensive standpoint, we’ve probably introduced some new sets that [the team is] not used to … I’ve made some adjustments along the way based on my experiences and sort of come up with a system that allows us to use the [team’s] abilities to the best of our advantage.”
The team has been very receptive to the new schemes.
“[Kosa] supports us by having a practice plan every day and by teaching us new plays and different ways to win games [to] make things easier or better for the team,” said Catherine Dyevich ’19.
Repetition is also a key part of the new practice system.
“We go through things so it is like muscle memory, which is a really good thing because we have done [it] so many times that it will become natural,” said Anna Intartaglia ’19.
Although practice is important, Kosa believes that trust helps to bring the team together.
“It’s showing that you care. When you do that, whether it’s a student or an athlete, they’re willing to try things for you or go the extra yard. I’m trying to impart my knowledge. I’m learning from them and they’re learning from me,” Kosa said.
Even though he has only started coaching this year, Kosa has already formulated goals.
“We always want to set our goals as high as possible. We want to win the division, win counties, win states and that’s going to be our goal every year. Yes, we have a lot of work in front of us, especially since our record last year was 6–20. It’s not going to be easy, but that’s the attitude we want to convey every year. If we don’t set our goals high, they might not [be as meaningful]”
These goals have motivated the team and given the girls confidence in their playing abilities.
“[Kosa] really believes in us which I think will help us a lot in how we perform and how we believe in ourselves,” said Oliva Intartaglia ’19.
Kosa and the girls team hope to use this year as a starting point for the future of the program.
“Since it’s my first year, we’re establishing the foundation for years to come. We’re hoping that younger girls, down in the elementary schools and middle schools will come to see our games … so when they come up to the high school they can be a part of this tradition that we’re starting,” Kosa said.