To say there has been some turmoil the last four years in the Richland High girls basketball program would be an understatement.
Three head coaches, multiple players quitting the team. But that hasn’t stopped one calming force from being at every practice and every game, working harder than anyone in the program and vastly improving throughout.
Kennedy Corrigan is one of three seniors on the Bombers team this season, and the only one that has been a four-year varsity player.
The 5-foot-5 point guard is her team’s second leading scorer this winter and has them in prime position for a potential regional playoff berth.
“It’s been a little difficult having three different coaches in my high school career,” she said. “You have to adjust to their coaching styles. I’ve learned to roll with everything and make the best out of my situation and that has worked out for me.”
After Corrigan earned her varsity spot as a freshman, Kristen Davis resigned as coach and was replaced by Jerry Riggs, who filled the position for two seasons. Former Bombers coach Cindy McCoy then took over when Corrigan was a junior.
“She has been through a lot,” McCoy said. “The thing that is great about her, she is one of the hardest workers on the team. So she sets the example and that is huge. That comes from a lot of understanding that she has to go to be the hardest worker out there.”
Corrigan has used hard work to overcome an obvious liability on the basketball floor — her lack of size.
Attempting to shoot over the top of taller defenders is not the best plan for Corrigan, so instead she relies on her footwork and quickness to get by the defense and create space.
It is something that is noticed by her teammates and her coaches.
“She is technically the best fundamentally sound player that we have in the program,” McCoy said. “If you watch her footwork, the little things that she has to do because of her being size-challenged, she has gotten so very good and works on it and works on it and works on it.
“She is very conscientious about doing the little things right, because that is what is going to make the difference between her getting open and getting a shot off and not.”
Corrigan got that work ethic from her parents, Tim and Anji. Tim was a point guard in high school, while Anji was a defensive specialist who walked on at the University of Montana.
“My family always told me to never coast or go halfway in practice, that doesn’t help you to get better,” Corrigan said. “Everything I do, I give it 100 percent. With my height, I can’t afford to go half speed, so I go all out in everything I do.”
And that includes more than just on the basketball court.
Corrigan is a 4.0 student, will be a valedictorian and is in the National Honor Society.
She is also hoping to play basketball in college, while studying pre-med.
“Everything she does, she is very diligent, and basketball is just one of those things,” Riggs said. “I don’t think she knows how to do something halfway. She wants to be the best.”
This season is no different.
When previous point guard Britney Pringle graduated, Corrigan was thrust into an unfamiliar role. Not only was she asked to run the offense, the team also needed to replace Pringle’s copious scoring.
Corrigan has done both.
“She is even more of a leader than before,” Richland High senior Sarah Hiller said. “(Point guard) is kind of a new role for her, but she has really stepped up in that way to help lead our team.
“I always knew she was a really hard worker and I always knew that would pay off for her in the end, because she is always there.”
And her being there has been a stabilizing presence for the Bombers program.
Craig Craker: 582-1509; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @Craig_Craker