Jeannette Spirit student-athlete of the week
Monique Redman is a name that most Jayhawk fans have heard a lot —especially in this her senior year at Jeannette High School.
This year Redman decided, with some prompting from athletic director Matt Lebe, to be the first female Jeannette athlete to letter in five sports in one year.
“He said, ‘You might as well just do them all and letter in five sports and be the first person to do that,'” said Redman.
It meant taking on three sports this fall — soccer, cheerleading and tennis, which Redman played for the first time this year.
“I've always wanted to play tennis, but I didn't think it was possible. My mom said I was crazy, but I wish I would have played (tennis) all four years,” she said.
She's in the midst of an impressive season on the basketball court and will cap off her jam-packed year with softball in the spring. This marks her third time as a Student Athlete of the Week honoree in this school year alone.
“It feels good because anyone can just do sports, but to do each one well makes you feel good about all the hard work you put in,” said Redman.
She's been playing basketball since she was in third grade, in part because her mother, Mary Redman, played the sport and coached her for many years. After high school ball wraps up, Redman plays with the AAU team the PA Titans in the spring and summer.
She's not sure if she'll join that team this year, it depends on whether she needs some more looks from colleges interested in having her join their teams. Basketball is her favorite sport and if the sport can help her pay for schooling, she's interested in doing that.
“Basketball is the most intense sport, in my opinion,” she said. “I think I'm best at basketball and I think you just like to do the stuff you're good at.”
She plays guard, bringing up the ball, looking for shots or looking to drive — a position she enjoys more than point guard.
This year's team is different, Redman said, because she feels it's the first year the team has played well as a whole.
“There's a tightness between all of us,” she said. “We all rely on each other. We don't have cliques. The whole team likes each other.”
Adam Knaresborough, the girls new head coach, has a saying that a fist is stronger than five fingers and the girls have taken on “Tougher Together” as their motto.
Redman likes the new coach and admires his confidence in the team.
“It's about the team and not anyone individually,” she said.
The goals for this season are to make it to the playoffs and also to be the section champs — something the Lady Jays have done the previous four years.
Personally, Redman's goal is to get more looks from more colleges and when describing her own play this season she said, “This season has been a mix. My expectation for myself is high. Some people might say I had a good game but I might say, ‘not to me.'”
Redman's father, the late Richard Redman, passed away but she still knows his expectations for her and that's part of the reason she holds herself to the higher standard.
“I do everything he would want me to do,” she said.
She's had some talks with WCCC and Carlow College coaches about potentially playing ball at their schools, but nothing official.
She hasn't settled on a major, but she knows she wants to pursue a career in music. It's important to her to follow the music, but she hopes to find a school to incorporate music and basketball.
In school, Redman is active in chorus, in drama where she's been a lead actress in the spring musical, in band where she plays the clarinet, and this year she was the high school marching band drum major.
She's half-way through her senior year and said it's going much more quickly than she expected.
“I don't feel it's real, yet,” she said. “I took high school for granted. I enjoy being here I didn't think it would end here this fast.”
Redman is the daughter of Mary and the late Richard Redman. She has a younger brother, Swade, who is a sophomore this year.
“Thanks, always, to my mom who is always there for me. And to my music teacher (Maria) Brecht, she's my mom in school and always there for me.
“Thanks to our new coach for stepping in and being a solid person who is always there. He will know what grade you have before you do and keep you on track.”
Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5154.