ROANOKE, Va. – "I thought the process of being where we are today, would have been about 5 or 6 years down the road."
From Patrick County to Patrick Henry, he came with plan to instill a winning culture. And in just 3 years, Mike Hedrick has guided the Patrick Henry girls program to new heights: three straight state tournament appearances, including a state semifinals run, the deepest run in program history.
Since day one the team bought into a simple, yet effective motto: ‘Be Better’.
“Keeps us motivated and helps us be better people as well as better players,” said Savannah Derey. She was a VHSL Class 5, 1st Team All-State honoree. Teammate Shelby Fiddler earned 2nd Team All-State honors.
The motto ‘Be Better’ has instilled a greater since of accountability which has led to more wins.
“It’s really easy to own wins and to own championships and get your picture taken. It’s really hard to walk with your head up after you lose. And we’re like every other team, a group of high school age individuals learning things through failure and success,” Hedrick said.
Another game changer for the program that sets them apart, are the assistant coaches who all have experience and in some cases are former Patriot student-athletes themselves.
“We didn’t have to go out and get new assistant coaches. We have one new assistant coach, Blue Cook, who did a phenomenal job with our post players this year. Alan Fiddler has a lot of experience and truly has been my right hand man. Robin Jones and Sarah Williams run the JV program and they come in and help with the varsity with practice and drills,” said Hedrick.
The ball is in their court and now is the time to hit the dagger and bring home state gold in the near future.
“With great success comes great expectations and harder obstacles so I think we’re in really good shape to keep on pushing forward,” said Hedrick.