EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

December 1, 2012

Newly-coed school adds boys basketball

A fresh start

(Continued)

This past fall, he ran on the Panthers’ new boys cross country team coached by Brian Martin. And Zhao is glad he got that opportunity, too.

“I joined the cross country team, and competing was especially good in getting me ready for basketball,” said Zhao. “Basketball has become very important to me, and to all of us.”

Gann’s first task was to build a work ethic with his new club. The next step is building a fundament base in the program. This week, he decided there will be no cuts. He feels there is strength in numbers.

That philosophy is one that the PMA administration embraces and envisioned in the move from all girls to co-ed.

“As soon as the decision to go co-ed was made, the first thing we talked about was sports and giving the boys as many options as the girls have had here,” said PMA Head of School Rose Maria Redman. “Last year, there were 15 boys in the school and 10 played in a small program we started. The transition has been excellent, not just in basketball, but in cross country and track. There’s even been some interest in starting up volleyball for the boys, too. I think we’ll be ready for varsity basketball here.

“Our coach is very interested and excited in making that happen. I think we all are.”

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