Honoring Erica Kovach

Erica Kovach, arguably the best player in the history of Georgetown Lady Eagles basketball, will return to Eagle Gym Friday night. No, she won’t be driving to the basketball for a school-record statistic  against Manor, but she will be receiving recognition for the imprint she made on a program that has posted 31 consecutive 20-win seasons and 30 straight trips to the state playoffs. She helped drive Coach Rhonda Farney’s Lady Eagles to the Class 5A state finals and a showdown with Duncanville as a senior. In her four-season varsity career she established school records that still stand and won enough honors to feed a good-sized trophy case. On most nights as a junior and senior, she was the dominant performer. Farney described Kovach as an all-round player, who distinguished herself in several areas.

    

“We will honor, arguably, the best player to ever wear the royal and white here at GHS at the varsity pregame on Friday night (6:55 p.m.),” Farney said. “She holds numerous records, but what sets her apart is her competitiveness and will to win.” Current Georgetown assistant coach Katie Youngblood, a Lady Eagle ball girl in 2002-2003, idolized Erica Kovach. From that perspective she penned the following about her childhood idol: “It’s hard to put into words how much I look up to Erica even to this day. I remember coming to her games just excited to be apart of the team and to be near her and all of the other Lady Eagle members. I was very serious about my ball girl duties whether it was folding their warm ups, getting the players water during timeouts, or mopping up the floor I made sure to do it right the first time.

   

“At a young age watching Erica, I learned that you can’t be afraid of anything and that you should never fear going all out. In almost every moment of the ball game I could look at Erica and see the determination in her face whether it was knocking down an important free throw or sacrificing her body to save a ball that was going out of bounds. Her records and stats speak for themselves, but I think the fact that her toughness, determination, and competitiveness are still spoken about in today’s team practices and film sessions is an even greater testament to her ongoing legacy. “I would just like to thank Erica for making my minor role as her ball girl, feel like it was an important piece of her success as a Lady Eagle.” After a college career as a player and assistant coach, the Boston resident continues to make a major contribution in a field that ultimately does more for humanity than competitive sports — a competition to expand the limits of our more-challenged younger citizens. In her own words about the contemporary Erica Kovach: “I have a Masters in Ed and I’m a special education teacher at McLean Hospital Pathways Academy. It is a year-round therapeutic day school developed to meet the social, sensory, psychological and educational needs of children and adolescents  ages 6 through 22 with autism spectrum disorders.

 “Our students struggle with social pragmatic (social communication) difficulties. sensory challenges and difficulty meeting typical school expectations. Students may also have co- occurring psychiatric diagnoses, including depression, social and academic anxiety, and other disorders.”A mission where every success is a slam dunk for society and the individual affected.

   

Erica looks back at being a Lady Eagles and its contributions to her life:

  1. Now in your mid-30s and looking back, how did being a Lady Eagle contribute to your success?

 “I’m still in my low 30’s haha! In all seriousness, as a former Lady Eagle I learned that leadership and work ethic is needed in all aspects of my life. To be successful, regardless of your career or relationship, you must possess leadership skills, communication skills and always be supportive; to ensure a world where everyone around you is made better. These skills and outlook on life were learned from my Lady Eagle coaches and teammates and are continuous daily reminders of our years together.

 

  1. What are your favorite memories of being a Lady Eagle?

“The best memories I have as a Lady Eagle were all our travel tournaments to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Florida, our team dinners, game nights and of course guessing which outfit Coach Farney would wear for each game!”

 

  1. What advice (or path of success) would you recommend for today’s female athletes?

“This is an exciting time for women in sports. Always continue to be the change that you want to see because you will have an impact on someone else’s life- so be a positive one! Whether you are a player in the game or a rowdy “hooyah” player on the bench there is always someone watching you.”

  

  1. How has the sport of women’s basketball changed since your playing days at GHS and Boston U?

“Since playing at GHS and Boston University, the women’s game has changed immensely; for starters reverting to quarters has made the game quicker and more exciting to watch. Additionally, I see the players to be larger in stature and therefore more physical in every position.”

  

  1. Who were and still are the biggest athletic role models in your life?

“My biggest athletic role model growing up and still today is hands down Steve Kerr! He was never a flashy player, but he did what was important and his passion for the game showed in every minute he plays.”

  1. What was the biggest highlight of your basketball career?

“If we are only considering what happened between the lines, I would say surpassing Natalie Tucker for all-time leading scorer was the biggest highlight of my basketball career. Natalie’s name was always mentioned as a player who we should strive to be like as a Lady Eagle and to be near her name in the record book is such an honor.”

  

  1. Do you still remain in contact with any of your old GHS teammates?

“Unfortunately no, living so far from Georgetown has made reunions difficult to maintain.” This woman scorned 2,125 points in her career as a Lady Eagle, including 45 in a single game against Brenham.

 

A brief look at Erica’s storied career at GHS:

HONORS

Senior (2002-2003) — Team MVP, District 14-5A MVP, All-Williamson County Player of the Year, All-Centex Player of the Year, TABC and TGCA All-State, TABC and TGCA All-Star, All-State Tournament, TABC 5A Player of the Year, McDonald’s All-American Honorable Mention, signed D-I scholarship agreement with Boston University.

Junior (2001-2002) — Team MVP, 13-5A MVP, All-Centex first team, TABC All-State second team, TGCA All-State third team, Texas Sportswriters Association All-State.

Sophomore (2000-2001) — Co-Team MVP with Jennifer Doherty, District 13-5A Co-MVP, All-Centex second team. TABC All-Region first team, TGCA All-State honorable mention.

 

STATISTICS

Varsity career starts — 105 (1999-2003). Varsity career wins — 113 (1999-2003). Varsity career scoring — 2,125 school record (1999-03). Varsity season scoring — 775 school record (2002-2003); 663 (2001-2002), 544 (2000-2001). Varsity Most Points in a Game: 45 school record against Brenham on Feb. 8, 2002. Varsity career field goals: 753 school record (1999-2003). Most field goals in a season: 276 (2002-2003). Most field goals in a game: 18 school record against Brenham on Feb. 8, 2002. Varsity career free throws: 568, school record (1999-2003). Most free throws in a season: 191 school record (2002-2003). Most free throws in a game: 13 shares school record against Austin Westlake on Nov. 28, 2000. Most career rebounds: 980 (1999-2003). Most season rebounds: 355 (2002-2003); Most rebounds in a game: 18 vs. Naples, Fla., Dec. 22, 2000. Varsity career steals: 324 (1999-2003); Most steals in a game: 10 shares school record against San Antonio Southwest on Dec. 5, 2002. Most assists in a game: 10 vs. Waco on Jan. 23, 2001.

 

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