The Portsmouth West Lady Senators will have a new beginning next year, as the school has announced and introduced the new girls basketball coach, Jason Claytor. The new coach for West girls basketball introduced himself on Thursday afternoon to all of those interested in playing next season.
“I’m very excited to be here, and I hope you are just as excited as I am,” Claytor said shortly after introducing himself.
Claytor was recently named the new girls basketball coach at Portsmouth West High School, having spent the last three seasons coaching girls basketball at West Union High School.
“The community seems so supportive,” Claytor remarked when asked why he chose to take the coaching position at West. “There are athletes here, and I know that there has been some success in the past, and there is no reason we can’t rekindle that.”
The community support, a wide-range of talent, and the great facilities at Portsmouth West High school are all reasons Claytor believes the Lady Senators can once again have a lot of success on the hardwood.
During his time at West Union, Claytor said he learned a lot about not only the game, but also the differences in coaching a boys team, as compared to a girls team.
“In my years at West Union, I learned, it was the first three years that I had ever coached girls. Up until then, I had only coached boys, so I kind of learned a lot of the differences between (coaching) boys and girls,” Claytor said. “I think just learning how to handle some situations, and there were some that I handled correctly, and some that I handled poorly, but I think I’ve learned from those, and can understand the psyche of the athletes.”
One of those differences was finding effective ways to motivate his players. Claytor noted the same motivating tactics used in the boys game, doesn’t always transfer into the girls game.
“As far as the basketball front, the game is the same between the boys and girls,” Claytor said. “It’s the same game, but there are some things you have to do just a little bit different.”
It took a few years, but Claytor was able to figure out the differences from transitioning into the girls varsity-level game from the boys game.
“Now that I’ve figured those out, I’m a whole lot more confident in myself than I was three years ago, when I took that job in West Union,” Claytor said.
As he was talking to several of the girls interested in playing basketball next season, Claytor told the upper-classmen in attendance that they would have to adapt to change once again, and then directed his attention to the younger interested players, telling them he had no plans on leaving West anytime soon.
“Leaving West Union to come here, I am as excited as I’ve been in years, in coaching basketball,” Claytor said. “Anything that has happened before now, I couldn’t care less. I don’t care. I don’t care what the past seasons have looked like, that doesn’t matter to me. As of right now, I don’t want it to matter to you.”
Claytor also said he knew how well, now former coach, Doug Williams, did with the team, and that the two have talked several times in the past several weeks.
Williams spent one year as the West girls basketball coach.
“I expect to be competitive,” Claytor said. “I won’t put wins and losses on it, just because I don’t know yet, and I’ve never been one to do that anyway.”
The toughness of the SOC II is something Claytor is familiar with, as well as something he is excited about.
“I know it’s a tough conference. There’s some really good teams, some really good programs,” Claytor said. “But, I expect to be competitive, night-in and night-out. If you’re competitive night-in and night-out, those wins will come your way.”
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.