Steamboat Springs Mack Spittellie has images in his mind of Steamboat Springs High School's girls basketball in its heyday. Growing up in the Yampa Valley, he remembers Steamboat being the dominant team on the Western Slope.
Now, after spending seven years with the program as an assistant, Spittellie takes on the role of head coach with a goal of re-creating some of those scenes he remembers from Steamboat’s glory days.
I want “to get it to where other teams walk into the gym and know they have to play their best in order to beat Steamboat,” he said.
This year’s team has the potential to create that intimidating presence and build upon earning its first playoff win last season. The Steamboat roster will boast seven seniors with Mikaila Jegtvig, Maggie Crouch, Ellie Becker, Ashley Spittellie, Hunter Anderson, Amaris Duryea and Alice Holmquist. All have seen playing time, and six have started at least one game for the Sailors.
Crouch and Jegtvig, who each averaged about seven points per game for the Sailors last year, should be looking forward to stellar senior years.
“It’s very exciting to have all that depth and experience,” Mack Spittellie said. “It was a great year last year, being able to win a playoff game, but now, my expectations are to get back there at a minimum.”
Spittellie recognized that being a first-year coach surely will bring challenges in his pursuit of this goal, as did the man who hired him, Steamboat Springs High School Athletic Director Luke DeWolfe.
“With first-year coaches, the amount of time is a big adjustment. It’s all the little details and things you don’t have to worry about as an assistant that come to the forefront,” DeWolfe said.
He knows Spittellie has the ability to handle the job.
“I’m very confident with Mack taking over,” DeWolfe said. “I think it will continue to improve and be a program with great kids and a great coaching staff.”
Jake Miller, a 2012 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, is working as a summer intern for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He recently completed his freshman year at Nebraska Wesleyan University.