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ACADEMICS PLUS GIRLS Wortham wears many hats for school

Once January starts, Academics Plus Coach Stephanie Wortham will be so busy she won’t know what to do. The second-year basketball coach will be wearing many hats as she is also the bowling and softball coaches. Bowling is now in season, and softball practice begins in January. To top her off whirlwind, she is pregnant and due in March and also has a two-year old son and a firefighter husband.

“I just take it and go with it,” Wortham said. “There are some days I’m tired, but I get up and go. It helps that my parents and husband bring him to the games so I do get to see him.”

After playing basketball at Williams Baptist and Central Baptist and then graduating from UCA, Wortham’s first coaching job began last year with the Falcons. A friend was taking a praxis test with boys’ Coach John Harrison, and he mentioned the Falcons were looking for a girls’ coach. Wortham said she reached the principal, and two weeks before school started, she was hired. Last season, she coached basketball and softball. Then this year, she was asked to add bowling to her duties.

“They asked me, and I said yes,” Wortham said. “When they ask you to do something, you want to do it. It try to be successful and give each one all my attention.”

Once January rolls around, Wortham’s days and weeks will be full. Basketball practice is in the mornings during second period. Basketball games are mostly on Tuesdays and Fridays. Bowling practice is Monday and Wednesday afternoons with matches mostly scheduled for Mondays with the season going to the end of February. Then when the Christmas break is over and school resumes in January, Wortham will have signups for softball and begin practices heavily at the end of January on Thursdays. Softball season starts in early March.

“I’m lucky I have two parents who help me out with bowling,” Wortham said. “They help with technique. They also help with softball.”

The pregnancy has somewhat changed basketball practice for Wortham. Unlike in the past, she can’t show the girls moves, stances, etc. However, senior Rhianna Mooney picks up the slack for her and demonstrates. Talking with Wortham, she seems to not mind her heavy schedule and says she has one trial.

“I guess the biggest challenge is I still have to make time for my family,” Wortham said. “I have to make time to see them.”

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