The Girls Varsity Basketball team’s competitiveness derives from their unity and unwavering love

Katelyn+Cousins

Katelyn Cousins

For girls varsity basketball coaches Katelyn and Kristina Cousins, family is everything and more.

Whether it’s the familial feel of their team or their biological families, to them, there’s no difference. The twin coaches treat and love every player as they would their own children, and it has created a wonderful, charitable atmosphere to play ball in. 

When [Kristina and I] first started coaching here almost five years ago,” Katelyn said, “we were honest and upfront that we were going to make this a family thing. Obviously, with Kristina and I being twins, we had that aspect, but we both knew we’d be starting families, and when that time came, we wanted them to be as invested in this as we are.”

I love coaching because basketball has been a part of my life [for] forever, and bringing that love to these girls is everything. And coaching with my sister, as cheesy as it sounds, is the cherry on top.”

— Kristina Cousins

With their families being such an imperative part of their lives, Kristina and Katelyn’s families attend almost every practice to simply observe and support. Their children are all fairly young, so they’re growing up in a world revolving around basketball. 

The children and the team have created an unbreakable bond from spending countless hours together. Katelyn was pregnant with her oldest son, Isaiah, during their first season of coaching, so he has spent a good majority of his life on the sidelines

“[Isaiah] has grown up with these girls,” Katelyn said, “especially the seniors.”

Even off the court, the girls and the Cousins’ children spend time together, as some of the girls even frequently take on babysitting jobs to spend time with the kids they adore and give their coaches a helping hand.

“We always ask the girls to watch our kids before we reach out elsewhere,” Kristina said, “Hal, [junior player] Theryn Hallock, has watched my twins since they were only a few months old. So they adore her, and it’s fun for the girls to see both sides of us—one as coaches and mentors but also as parents and career women.”

Senior player Katy Majick also cherishes the relationship she has created with her coaches’ children and loves every waking moment spent with them, whether they’re cheering her on at the big games or just simply bystanders at practice.

“I absolutely adore [their kids],” Katy said. “I love when they’re at practice, and [I love] being able to watch them grow up.”

Aside from Katy’s love for the kids, she is so unbelievably thankful to learn, grow, and progress with the help of her favorite coaches; she believes that Kristina and Katelyn make a superlative pair together.

“They are some of my favorite people in the world,” Katy said, “Each of them brings something different to the team. They have the perfect combination of motivation [and] encouragement and are just fun to be around.”

Within the five years Kristina and Katelyn have been coaching girls varsity basketball, their love for coaching, and most importantly the team, hasn’t faded. Right from the beginning, they knew they wanted nothing more than their family to be a part of the journey.

“When taking the job,” Kristina said, “I was heading on my honeymoon and told [athletic director Clark] Udell that I’d want it to be a family affair, hence coaching with my twin sister after all. Our husbands both played college basketball, so they are also a wealth of knowledge who we both lean on a lot for help and support. Also, we wanted our kids to see us doing what we love and being in the gym with us.”

It was an easy ‘yes’ when the job opportunity arose for Katelyn and Kristina. They yearned for the coaching job for a number of reasons, one mainly being that they’re both FHC alums.  

It would be hard for us to have coached anywhere else,” Katelyn said. “Once a Ranger, always a Ranger. We knew there was a special group of girls, and we wanted to build a program like the one we had when we were students. When the job opening happened, Kristina called me and was like ‘I think I need to do this,’ and I was like, ‘well if you’re in, I’m in.’”

Kristina and Katelyn not only went to school here at FHC, but they also grew up playing their favorite sport in high school.

I was the starting point guard here at FHC on varsity all four years,” Kristina said. “After going to Davenport University, I realized [that] I loved coaching and came to coach freshman volleyball, while still in college, and loved it. So coming back as the basketball coach was amazing.”

While eating, sleeping, and breathing FHC basketball, countless memorable moments have occurred to add to the fun. For Katy, one of her favorites was a story delivered by senior Rachel Lynch that made the whole team grasping for air in between giggles. 

“We were all at a team dinner,” Katy said, “and ‘Ray Ray Sugar,’ Rachel Lynch, asked us if we wanted to hear a funny story, and she proceeded to tell us that one day, before practice, she was walking into the gym, and she got hit by a car. A kid hit her with his car, and she got up and ran away from him and went to practice [as if] nothing had happened. I don’t think I have ever laughed harder in my life.”

For Katelyn, she cannot pinpoint a specific point in time that stood out to her because every moment spent with the team is a special one. 

I have far too many funny and memorable moments to count,” she said. “But I’m just proud to be able to call myself a coach to these young ladies. They have [had] more of an impact on our lives than they know, and it’s an honor to know them all.”

The countless amount of memorable moments are all it takes to recognize that this team is a family. All of the girls are so different, yet all have the drive and motivation to be successful as one. With Katelyn and Kristina’s outlook on coaching, they’ve made the team undeniably united as one, and that is what makes the girls varsity basketball team such a special group. 

There is something really special about this group of girls,” Katelyn said. “They are a bunch of athletes of different sports who are united by basketball. Watching them compete and grow as people is such a cool thing to experience as a coach. My favorite part would definitely be watching the girls go from being individuals to a team in such a short period of time. The unity they have is pretty special.”

“I love coaching,” Kristina said, “because basketball has been a part of my life [for] forever, and bringing that love to these girls is everything. And coaching with my sister, as cheesy as it sounds, is the cherry on top.”

Their love for basketball has driven the team to success. The atmosphere and constant support are truly what makes this team a family. And from here, they will continue to carry on the legacy of girls varsity basketball and continue to live, work, and play as one big family.

When asked why she encourages the team to become a family, the answer was simple for Katelyn. 

“Truthfully,” Katelyn said, “we grew up seeing how close coach [former boys varsity basketball coach Ken] George was with his boys and how they were involved, and we thought that was very special. So, the why is simple: because we’re all a team, and we’re all in this together.”