Lady Badgers’ Head Coach Sherry Luna eclipsed a milestone in her career after a win for the Bishop girl’s basketball team over District 31-3A rival Santa Gertrudis Academy on Friday earned her win number 300 on her overall career coaching record.
Luna started her career in 1999 as head coach for Ben Bolt for one year before taking some time off from coaching to take care of her first-born son.
She continued her career at Agua Dulce before eventually ending up in Bishop.
“I’ve touched many lives throughout the years and a lot of athletes have contributed to (the wins) and a lot of administrators, a lot of school boards,” Luna said. “I think I really need to thank my family and my husband and my mom and my dad and aunts, uncles and my two kids for sharing me to make this possible because without them, I couldn’t ever have done this.”
Luna said Friday morning she made sure nobody except her coaching staff and her husband knew of the milestone she had the potential of earning that day, because if the game turned out to end with the 300th win, she wanted her girls to celebrate their victory for them.
The 37-30 win placed Bishop atop the district standings with SGA (7-1), and also broke the Lady Lions’ 19-game district winning streak.
“After the game, my husband kind of let the cat out of the bag, and that’s when my girls found out,” Luna said. “They were already excited that they won, but they were also very excited that I got my 300th win.”
Madi Ruiz, a sophomore on the Lady Badgers squad said the coincidence that the 300th win fell in-line with Bishop ending the Lady Lion’s streak was “crazy to think about.”
“We were all really excited for her when we found out,” Ruiz said. “We all started crying because we love her so much. I’ve only been playing for two years for her, but my sister played for her for a long time, too, so we have known her for awhile.”
Another sophomore, JayDee Zamora said she felt a rush of emotions come over her when she heard the news of her coach’s milestone, especially because she has known the coach since she was in middle school.
“I’m actually glad that that she’s my coach and everything because she does everything for you on and off the court. She always makes sure you’re at your best,” Zamora said. “She does everything for the team and she deserves it.”
Luna said the win did put into perspective her coaching career as a whole, as she reflected on the most memorable moments of her career.
She remembered a season in which she scheduled the hardest preseason her team would ever face.
Luna said the team lost every single preseason game before going undefeated in district play, which she said will be one of best years in her coaching career.
She also mentioned her 2010 season, when the Lady Badgers advanced to the regional tournament, and were also able to play at Disney World.
Both feats were first for her that she said to this day is something she continues to push her girls to accomplish again.
“They are definitely capable of doing it,” Luna said.
Although she did remember her times of triumph, Luna said it was her losses that continued to push her forward, even at one time in the past when she lost her father, who was a big supporter of her career.
“I remember when I had just lost my dad and it was really tough to be out on the court,” Luna said. “We had lost a game and I took it really hard, and it was difficult to process because all I wanted to do was talk to my dad about the game because he always told it like it is. But after that game, we went on to win the next one, and as I looked up in the gym, there is this light that is hanging that just swings for no reason. It was and still is the only one. And the more it swung, the more I knew it was him and from then on I knew everything would be better.”
Luna said those memories resonate with her as she continues to power through every season, and this year has been no different.
With four games left in the season, she hopes to win out and finish atop the district standings and earn a district title. The Lady Badgers continue the season on Friday against Banquete with the JV game tipping-off at 5 p.m., with the varsity game to follow.