Archive for Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Bonner Springs names replacement for Basehor-bound coach

June 26, 2002

Former Bonner Springs High School softball coach Ann Decker will become the newest member of the Basehor-Linwood High School faculty next year.

But while Decker is known for her devotion to softball, her duties at BLHS will be strictly academic.

Decker has accepted an offer to join the BLHS math department and she will focus her attention to the classroom next year instead of the softball diamond.

Decker had been the Bravettes' coach for 12 years and her departure opened the door for another Bonner Springs veteran to take over, 37-year-old English teacher Nancy Yankovich.

"I've always wanted to be a head coach, but I didn't anticipate Ann (Decker) leaving at all," Yankovich said. "I was very happy being Ann's assistant. I just love the game."

Decker's departure will allow Yankovich's love of the game to grow. A native of Kansas City, Kan., Yankovich attended Washington High School. At that time, there was no softball program at Washington, so Yankovich's play on the softball diamond was limited to participation in summer leagues. That did not stop her from starring in the sport, and after high school she went on to play softball and basketball at Baker University in Baldwin City.

She has been at BSHS for 14 years and now that she's set to take over her own program, she said it feels like she's starting over completely.

"I've been coaching, but I've never been a head coach," Yankovich said. "It'll be a challenge, but it's one that I'm looking forward to. I learned a lot from Ann and I'm anxious to build on what she's created here."

Yankovich's expectations are high, but she said she will not measure the success of her first year on wins and losses.

"Winning is why we're all in it," Yankovich said. "But if I can see the kids improve and see them execute on a regular basis then I know we can be successful."

But while Decker is known for her devotion to softball, her duties at BLHS will be strictly academic.

Decker has accepted an offer to join the BLHS math department and she will focus her attention to the classroom next year instead of the softball diamond.

Decker had been the Bravettes' coach for 12 years and her departure opened the door for another Bonner Springs veteran to take over, 37-year-old English teacher Nancy Yankovich.

"I've always wanted to be a head coach, but I didn't anticipate Ann (Decker) leaving at all," Yankovich said. "I was very happy being Ann's assistant. I just love the game."

Decker's departure will allow Yankovich's love of the game to grow. A native of Kansas City, Kan., Yankovich attended Washington High School. At that time, there was no softball program at Washington, so Yankovich's play on the softball diamond was limited to participation in summer leagues. That did not stop her from starring in the sport, and after high school she went on to play softball and basketball at Baker University in Baldwin City.

She has been at BSHS for 14 years and now that she's set to take over her own program, she said it feels like she's starting over completely.

"I've been coaching, but I've never been a head coach," Yankovich said. "It'll be a challenge, but it's one that I'm looking forward to. I learned a lot from Ann and I'm anxious to build on what she's created here."

Yankovich's expectations are high, but she said she will not measure the success of her first year on wins and losses.

"Winning is why we're all in it," Yankovich said. "But if I can see the kids improve and see them execute on a regular basis then I know we can be successful."

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