Barnes is named Coach of the Year
The Chesapeake Skipjacks women’s basketball team is headed to the NJCAA, DII National Tournament after taking the Region XX Championship on March 10.
Chesapeake enters the tournament with accolades for both freshman guard Jahnaya Peterson as Outstanding Player in the regional tournament and Head Coach Gwen Barnes as WBCA Coach of the Year.
The Skipjacks defeated the College of Southern Maryland 73-62 in the March 10 game to clinch the NJCAA Region XX Tournament.
“Coach Barnes is super dedicated and committed to her family, players and the college,” said Director of Athletics Frank Szymanski. “She goes above and beyond for Chesapeake College and is a positive role model for her student-athletes.”
Barnes, who has led the Chesapeake women’s basketball program since Fall 2014, said her coaching philosophy encompasses more than game strategy.
“I know that many coaches are most concerned about recruiting the best players and then getting the wins, and moving on to the next season,” she said. “I see my role as different. Yes, I’m a basketball coach and want them to develop as players. But I want them to develop as individuals. This is about much more than the game. I want our student-athletes see this experience as preparation for the rest of their lives. I take that role seriously.”
The national tournament begins on March 19 in Harrison, AR where the Skipjacks will take on the Kansas City Kansas Community College Lady Blue Devils in the first match up. Chesapeake, with a 20-5 regular season record, enters the tournament as the #14 seed.
Barnes, along with assistant coaches Coleman Bender and Alex Barnes, will lead the team of mostly freshman to the national tournament.
“This is a young team. They’re very excited to be playing in the national tournament, but I know they’ll be a little nervous,” Barnes said. “I told them that those nerves will disappear as soon they take their first run down the court. Then they’ll forget who is watching them and play the way that I know they’re capable of.”
The Chesapeake Skipjacks roster includes: Joneisha Cain, Jontasya Cain, Toni Chiarella, Shaniyah Grace, Victoria Kirby, Se’ri Miles, Amunique Newell, Jahnaya Peterson, Breyonna Seymour, Brittiney Seymour, and Ashia Wright.
Photo above: Coach Gwen Barnes, center, celebrates with the Chesapeake College women’s basketball team and coaching staff after the Region XX Championship game.