SILVER LAKE, MINN. – Jeff and Kelli Monahan have had a subtle method to inspire their daughters to get the maximum out of their basketball talents at Glencoe-Silver Lake High School.
OK, maybe it isn’t that subtle.
Asked if she had a job this summer, senior-to-be Miah said: “No, with my dad, if you get a Division I scholarship, you don’t have to work that summer, because of what will be saved in college money.
“So, I get to sleep in a lot of days. I can make it to noon some days.”
Miah laughed. Dad shook his head. “If you’re not working, you are responsible for driving Mylea to where she needs to be for her activities,” Jeff said. “That can be a hectic schedule.”
There are four Monahan daughters:
Maddie is entering her senior season as a three-year starting guard for Drake. McKenna will be entering her junior season as a guard at Grand View, an NAIA school located 4 miles from the Drake campus in Des Moines.
Miah will be a Glencoe-Silver Lake senior, and in May accepted a scholarship offer to play guard for Eastern Illinois in the Ohio Valley Conference. Mylea is entering the eighth grade, devoted to basketball, but also an outlier in the Monahan sports universe.
“Mylea’s playing soccer,” Miah said. “The rest of us didn’t play soccer. We played volleyball. Mylea, though … she has that soccer personality. She’s feisty.”
Jeff Monahan is the girls’ basketball coach at Glencoe-Silver Lake. He was an assistant before becoming the head coach in the winter of 2016-17. Miah was an eighth-grader, moved up from the junior varsity after a few weeks, and started along with her two older sisters.
“It was a memorable season for me to see them play together,” Jeff said Wednesday. “And most important, Miah made us a better team.”
Miah’s schedule as an athlete has been volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter, and then AAU basketball in spring and summer, with high school track and field (relays and shot put).
This is her seventh and last season in the Minnesota Fury AAU program. Her teammates have included Farmington’s Sophia Hart, the national recruit recently committed to North Carolina State, and other D-I recruits.
The AAU schedule that usually starts in late March was delayed until June this year by the pandemic. The Fury and other AAU teams are playing tournaments now, but in limited fashion. Under Armour’s main event that had Miah wide-eyed to experience was wiped out.
“The national tournament was going to be held in Las Vegas this summer,” Miah said. “I was really looking forward to that.”
The familiar schedule of volleyball, then basketball, then track (and more basketball) also has been changed by this evil virus.
In an attempt to rescue a 2020-21 sports year, the Minnesota State High School League announced Tuesday it was pushing football and volleyball off the fall calendar, with the hope of playing shortened schedules next spring.
It seems to me volleyball is a victim of the inherent close-contact dangers of football, and the state league’s eternal search for gender equity for all sports. If you’re going to lose the No. l boys sport in the fall, then a reason can be found to also postpone the No. 1 girls sport.
“We’ve had a couple of informal volleyball events in the past couple of weeks, without the coaches,” Miah said. “Four teams with only 10 players on each team, everyone masked in warmups, on the sideline. It seemed very safe.”
No edge to those words, no bitterness, just an all-around athlete’s thoughts on the subject.
Talking to Miah and hearing anecdotal evidence from coaches and administrators, I get the impression high school athletes are going to take this change to their norm in much more so-it-goes fashion than are some outraged parents.
“Basketball might be my main sport, but I’ve always loved volleyball — loved that it took us back to school in the fall,” Miah said. “I loved our intense matches in one of the best conferences [Wright County] in our class in the state, loved getting dressed up on Friday nights for football games, loved it all.
“Now, I’m looking for something different. Maybe I’ll try tennis. My sister MaKenna played tennis when she was a sophomore, and I’d go to the court and volley with her.”
You run relays and throw the shot in track. Cross-country?
“I have friends on the cross-country team telling me that, saying, ‘It would be good for you, Miah,’ ” she said. “It might, but just going out for a long run … I don’t think that fits me.
“If I’m going to try a sport during this strange fall, it should be fun. Why not tennis?”
Write to Patrick Reusse by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and including his name in the subject line.