by Alexandra So ’19
Recently, there were two new additions to the athletics department: Kristie Gipe, a tennis coach, and Jerica Williams, a basketball coach. Last April, Williams joined the Upper School as the girls assistant varsity basketball coach; however, in December she returned as a PE coach at the middle school. On the other hand, Gipe joined the middle school last June, also as a PE coach.
Despite being in the same department, there are many aspects of the sports Gipe and Williams play that are very distinct to the sport.
“[Basketball] challenges you to think quickly, and know what’s happening within in 94 feet amongst 10 players. The challenge, the pace of the game, and the competitiveness of the sport is what makes it unique to me,” said Williams.
Gipe also believes that tennis is unique, but in a varying way. “Tennis is so different because it is an individual sport… Our top girls are competing outside of here and getting their rankings… and then they come to high school and it’ll be the first time they play on a team as opposed to other sports,” said Gipe.
In their free time, both coaches like movies. But more specifically, Gipe likes outdoor activities like hiking, skiing and camping. On the other hand Williams enjoys workouts (like yoga), reading, going to amusement parks and spending time with her 4 year old son.
They both also love many parts of the school so far. “Everybody is so helpful and so supportive of us. The girls are also really motivated and want to do well… it is really great,” said Gipe.
Williams also commented on the people at the school. “Harvard-Westlake is a community that feels like a family. It seems like everyone on the campus, from students to faculty, understand and live by the foundational values of the school,” said Williams.