Kim Stensgar faces all the challenges and responsibilities the other 27 Northwest Conference varsity head coaches do … plus one that none of her peers deal with: being a Mom.
The Mount Baker girls coach is back on the bench after having her second child just a month ago.
“It’s a commitment dragging little kids around the gym,” Stensgar said before the Mounties’ 45-30 non-league victory over Klahowya on Saturday, Dec. 21.
Saturday’s game was a good holiday tuneup for Mount Baker (4-4), which played the part of Grinch to the visitors from Silverdale. The Mounties went up early and, after holding the Eagles (4-5) to two points in the second quarter, led by 20 at halftime, allowing Stensgar to play her substitutes freely.
For more photos of Saturday’s game and the Stensgar family, check out the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page.
“We could have kept our starters in, but I’m happy getting valuable experience for the younger players,” said the coach. “We’ll need them for the tougher games in the Northwest Conference.”
Madison Barter had 15 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead Mount Baker. Madelyn Valum added 10 points and Abby Yost had 9.
The comfortable margin allowed Kim and her husband, assistant coach Mike Stensgar, to have Lincoln sit with them on the bench … but only for a couple of minutes, which is about all a wiggly 2-year-old can take.
But don’t worry about Lincoln or newborn Trey being ignored. Kim’s parents, Doug and Bev Preston, enjoy grandparenting duty on game day … and they know what Kim and Mike are going through because both were coaches themselves.
“We’re all in it,” Kim said of her family. “I have parents that get it.”
Mike agreed: “Kim’s parents have been a godsend. Without them, no way we could do this. It’s a challenge (coaching and raising kids), but we want our kids to be involved (in sports).”
Both Stensgars said they wondered how they would make it all work — both are also full-time junior high teachers — but they never thought of quitting.
“We’d have a hard time walking away (from coaching),” said Kim. “Both of us are passionate about the sport. And we feel connected to all of them (the players).”
The players feel connected to the Stensgar family, too, but Kim said there was one who is special: sophomore point guard Trinity Anderson.
“Trinity is a baby whisperer,” said Kim. “When he’s crying, she can always quiet him down.”
“My mom’s is a babysitter so we have babies around the house all the time,” said Anderson. “As soon as he (Trey) comes to me, he stops crying. I don’t know why.”
Of course, Anderson admitted she wasn’t the perfect babysitter.
“Lincoln doesn’t like me very much,” she said with a grin.