Tritz and Estes earn coach of year honors story by Austin cleveland

The Missouri Basketball Coaches Association recently announced that girls’ basketball head coach Monica Tritz and boys’ assistant Armeake Estes are among those being honored as coaches of the year, coach Tritz as Class 5 girls’ basketball coach of the year, and coach Estes as assistant coach of the year. The award recognizing the entire year truly fits in more than the few winter months of basketball season, encompassing the spring, summer, and fall months of workouts and shootarounds. This upcoming summer, like all prior, will be business as usual for Kirkwood Basketball, building and developing high caliber teams.

Athletic director Corey Nesslage sees the success of Kirkwood teams and their coaches up close throughout the entire season, and throughout the offseason months of preparation. “The commitment of our coaches throughout the year is phenomenal,” Nesslage said. “They have the best interest of their student athletes at the forefront of all their decisions. They [both] do a fantastic job.”

photo by Christian Baker

Coach Tritz has received the award now two years running, with two state championships to go with. This season she led her team to a 28-3 record with her seven seniors. Among those are MBCA class five all-state players Jayla Everett, Makayla Wallace, and Jadiah Stewart. According to Tritz, the 2018-19 season is already progressing, specifically integrating younger players. “We are not starting over [losing seniors] more than we are adjusting,” Tritz said.

photo by Christian Baker

Head Coach Bill Gunn and Estes’s boys basketball season ended with a district tournament loss to CBC, and an overall record of 15-12. According to Junior guard Brad Lay, Estes’s coaching style has blended well in contrast to Gunn’s. “He has a different style [compared to Gunn] so he reaches different players in a different way,” Lay said. “Coach Gunn can be very intense and animated during games, so it is nice to have Coach Estes who more laidback during games. He gets on us during practice though. Makes us run a lot.”

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