Thompson basketball take-over after previous coach steps down


By Alex Gurski, Staff Reporter

The girls’ basketball team welcomes new head coach AJ Thompson into its program this upcoming season after former coach Chris Jeffries stepped down from the position.

        After the announcement of Jeffries’ leaving, the Conestoga athletic department settled on Thompson,  a current fifth grade science and social studies teacher at Valley Forge Middle School, to fulfill the coaching role.

Before going on the accept this role as head coach, Thompson had prior experience in basketball. He played at Dunmore High School, coached girls’ and boys’ basketball at Valley Forge Middle School, served as assistant coach for the Neumann University women’s basketball team, and was the head coach of the girls’ basketball team at Kutztown High School. Most recently, he has spent the past two seasons coaching the girls’ basketball team at Phoenixville High School.

           “I had some reservations leaving Phoenixville (High School), just because I had some really good kids there that were with me for a few years. Ultimately it came down to the fact that I teach here, I’m familiar with the district, invested in the kids, and it only made sense to coach at Conestoga,” Thompson said.

           Thompson has already begun making plans for the new season, and spent some time getting to know his new team. The team has been having open gyms and participated in a fall league, allowing Thompson to have more time to get to know his new team.

           “It’s been a great transition so far, I’ve been hanging out with the girls a little bit. Some of the kids I had in class, so it’s kind of neat. It’s great to see (former students) now being juniors and seniors in high school and getting a chance to coach them, and it’s been a really smooth transition so far,” Thompson said.

           Players from the team are looking forward to a change, hoping that it will help lead them to success during the upcoming season.

           “It’s going to take a bit for the team to get used to, but I think a fresh start is a good thing, especially since three of our starters graduated,” said junior basketball player Emily Lortz.

Alex Gurski can be reached at at [email protected]