St. Clair Shores
Lake Shore’s Roehm humble after receiving Coach of the Year honors
Published March 17, 2014
ST. CLAIR SHORES — The 16 wins recorded by the St. Clair Shores Lake Shore girls basketball team this season are the most in Shorians coach Jimmy Roehm’s seven-year tenure.
For his efforts, Roehm was named MAC Gold Coach of the Year.
Roehm said the award is more of a testament to his staff than anything else.
“Because they work really hard preparing the kids each and every day,” Roehm said. “It didn’t really register a lot with me, though, because I’ve never really been big on individual awards.
“As a team, we set three main goals this year: win the St. Clair Shores Christmas Tournament, win the (MAC Gold) and win a district title. We fell a little bit short in the league, and if I had a choice which award I wanted to win, I’d take the league title every time.”
Lake Shore’s number of wins has increased in each of Roehm’s seven seasons, as has the team’s standing in each division of Macomb Area Conference it has played in. Lake Shore finished 9-3 in the MAC Gold, giving the Shorians a second-place finish for the second straight season.
Roehm employs an up-tempo style of play and utilizes pressure defense, looking to cause turnovers that lead to easy scores. He said it’s somewhat difficult to find great shooters or really good back-to-the-basket post players, making running half-court offensive sets a struggle, at times.
“So if we can get some steals and get baskets before the other team has a chance to set up (defensively), it’s a lot easier to put points on the board,” said Roehm, whose team averaged 52.4 points per game — good for fourth overall in the 36-team MAC.
“The up-tempo style also allows me to get more kids into the game, which allows us smoother transitions from year to year. More experienced returning players usually leads to better results.”
Roehm said his first few teams bought into a mantra of “work hard, improve daily and expect to win.” He said it took a little time to see results from that.
He aslo said those earlier teams laid a foundation and got things going by teaching younger players as the seasons have gone along.
“Now, those younger girls are becoming seniors, and we are having a lot more success,” Roehm said. “At the end of the day, I’ve been blessed with some great kids and some pretty good teams to work with.”
Some of those great kids include seniors Carly Vargo and Paige Plotzke — members of the 2013-14 All-MAC Gold Division team.
Roehm loses seven seniors total to graduation. He said the five players who will return next season, including junior All-MAC Gold selection Mackenzie Nemitz, will surprise people.
“They won’t surprise me or my assistants, but they’ve played a lot of good basketball and are just scratching the surface of their potential,” Roehm said of Nemitz, sophomore Jenna Pomaville, sophomore Ashley Romanowski, junior Stella VanAcker and junior TaShaunna Davis.
“Altogether, we lose a lot of experience with (Vargo, Plotzke) and the rest of the seniors, but the returning girls have played a lot of basketball, as well.”