Like many things in life, there are all kinds of different styles when it comes to varsity girls basketball coaches, from loud, tenacious and driving like a storm in a Central American rain forest during the right time of year to calm and relaxed, similar to a perfect cloud or a sleepy puppy.
Any extreme can be taken farther than it should be, but Community R-6's Bob Curtis is the type of coach parents want their kids to play for because of his values as a person. His values are strong, but he doesn't preach. He'll correct an athlete without raising his voice. He demands respect and those that choose not to give it get left behind. Basically, he leads both with his words and by example and because of that he's got two benches that are overflowing with talent.
When posed against some incredibly low enrollment numbers, the wealth of athletes that want to participate in Curtis' program only get more impressive with each passing season. One in particular who's been lighting up area opponents for as long as she's been a Lady Trojan is Natalie Thomas. In the district championship game last Saturday against Canton the senior gave a 29-point performance and that was just a couple points off of her career high, a mark she doesn't have much longer to try and top.
CR-6's initial playoff contests were an exercise in how to play defense teams all across the area should watch that kicked off Feb. 18 as the top seed in this district with a thoroughly convincing 60-13 victory over eighth seeded Wellsville-Middletown. Just two days later the Lady Trojans did it again by downing North Shelby 77-26 on Feb. 20 to set up their 63-46 district title victory over Canton last Saturday.
Now Community R-6 is prepping to face Green City, 23-4 overall, at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday at Salisbury and the fact this squad just beat Tina-Avalon, 17-5 overall, 61-37, the way it did certainly isn't making anyone feel any better about what lies ahead. The Gophers got here by claiming the Class 1, District 12, championship 56-29, against Brashear, 18-5 overall. Prior to that Green City had beat La Plata, 10-17 overall, 58-26, and Novinger, 60-22, on Feb. 16.