XENIA — Xenia girls basketball coach Jessica Threats received a rather cryptic congratulatory Twitter message on Wednesday.
“I was like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ ” she said.
Threats found out pretty quickly, however.
After leading the Bucs from four wins in her first year to 13 wins this season — their most in a decade — Threats was named the Southwest Ohio Division-I Co-Coach of the Year by sports writers in the district. Edgewood’s Matt Tolliver was the other co-coach of the year.
“I definitely appreciate it,” Threats said. “As a coach, a lot of us put a lot of time, energy, and effort into the kids in the program. A lot of times you don’t get recognized for it. It’s nice to get appreciated in some regard for the sacrifice that we make and we don’t always get that.”
The Bucs completed one of the biggest one-season improvements in recent history.
Xenia started the 2019-20 season 0-9 and didn’t win a game until Jan. 2 against Graham. The Bucs ended the season on a nine-game losing streak.
This season, Xenia won its season opener against Fairborn and then evened its record at 5-5 after a win against the Skyhawks Jan. 4. The Bucs won their last seven regular-season games before a loss to Tecumseh in the sectional tournament ended their season at 13-10.
What Threats was most proud of was that because of COVID-19, the Bucs played nearly a dozen games with as few as six players.
“It made it kind of tough to gauge because we never knew what players we were going to have on any given day,” she said.
But once the team was at full strength the Bucs were prepared to make their season-ending spurt.
“It helped us in the long run,” Threats said. “Obviously we wanted to do better than (last year).”
Threats also helped lead the Xenia volleyball team to a big turnaround this year as the Bucs improved from 7-17 overall and 3-15 in the Miami Valley League last fall to 13-10 and 11-7 this past fall.
“Jessica is unique in the sense that she is the head coach in two varsity sports for us, also coaching volleyball,” Athletic Director Nathan Kopp said. “She is able to connect with kids (as a former varsity girls basketball coach myself this is probably the most important thing any coach can do), develop players and build programs. What she has done in just two years with the girls program has been remarkable. The future is certainly bright for the Xenia girls basketball program with Jessica at the helm.”
Losing just two seniors and having a solid group of younger players returning, Threats also thinks the Bucs are a team on the rise.
“We’re definitely going in the right direction,” she said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.