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NHS Girl’s Varsity Basketball Stuns the Community

The NHS girls basketball team achieved a huge success this year— accomplishing a 14-game winning streak that shocked not only the team, but the whole NHS community. On March 10, Coach Mitschow and Abby Scheidel shared their personal thoughts and feelings about this huge achievement in an interview.


“Winning 14 games in a row with the schedule we had this year is quite an accomplishment,” Coach Mitschow said. “If someone would have told me we would win that many games in a row, I would have laughed at them!” 


Mitschow has been on the basketball scene since he was just a kid. He started to play basketball in the third grade at Lincoln School for the Nutley Recreation League. “At the time, football was my favorite sport, but I quickly fell in love with basketball.” But like some, Mitschow had his own disappointments on his way to success. He did not make the basketball team during his freshman year in high school, but did not let that discourage him and take away his love for the sport. 


“At first I was devastated, but I decided it would make me work even harder at the game I loved. For the next three years of high school, I not only made the team, I started on the varsity team.”


Mitschow continued to play in adult leagues until he was 32-years-old and continues to surround his life around the sport by coaching at Nutley High School. He coached the freshman boy’s basketball team for 14 years before becoming the head coach for the girl’s basketball team. 


“Basketball has always been a big part of my life, because for the last 22 years I have been coaching at NHS,” Coach Mitschow says. 


Similar to Mitschow’s beginning start, Abby Scheidel, the captain of the girl’s varsity basketball team and one of the team’s best leading players, started playing in the fourth grade, but she “wasn’t serious about it until the seventh grade.” 


Basketball not only impacted Mitschow’s life, but Abby’s as well. “Basketball made me a better person,” Abby argues. “It’s given me a work ethic that applies to multiple aspects of my own life.” Basketball comes with a lot of dedication and most people tend to struggle keeping up with it. However, this was not a problem for Abby as she has grown used to it. 


“Compared to other sports like softball or soccer, this is a more fast-paced sport that requires a lot of time and dedication. But it’s just really fun. I love everything about it,” Scheidel said.


After realizing that the NHS girl’s varsity basketball team had accomplished a 14-game winning streak, everyone was stunned. Both Abby and Coach Mitschow were shocked as the team started off losing the first three games of their season. 


“It was so unexpected for us. We started off 0-3 and then we won like 14 of the next games,” Abby says. “I didn’t think it was possible,” Mitschow agrees. 


Abby claims that she and Coach Mitschow did not think they were going to win that many games because they had a new group of people on the team. “It takes a while just to get a bond between each other, but hopefully for next year, that bond can continue,” explains Abby. 


Before every game, Mitschow explains his first thoughts and feelings. Before every game of the season, Mitschow describes that he becomes “extremely nervous hours before the game up until the game starts.”


“Once the game begins, I calm down. Whatever I do to try and relax, nothing ever works,” Mitschow reveals. 


Unlinke Coach Mitschow, Abby is more fired up and ready before each basketball game. She used to get nervous during her freshman year playing basketball, but now she has learned to ignore her nerves and be more focused— keeping her eyes on the prize.“I don't get nervous or scared anymore. I play with the mindset to win,” she said. 


Abby Scheidel claims that, “the best part about basketball is the amazing connections you make— all the memories and friendships you make and the relationships with your coaches.”


Coach Mitschow also believes that the best part about his job is the relationships built between the whole NHS girl’s basketball team on and off the court.“The best part about coaching the team this year was how they got along with one another. As a coach, you love to see team chemistry, and this year's team had it. The only rough part of coaching this year was seeing them struggle at the beginning of the year.”


Overall, achieving a 14-game winning streak is a huge accomplishment for Abby Scheidel, Coach Mitschow, the NHS girl’s varsity basketball team, and for the whole NHS community.  Coach Mitschow explains how meaningful this achievement is to him being as though he was someone they all looked up to as a leader. “This is something I will remember for a long time," he said. One word I would use to describe this team would be resilient. There were games this year where we faced challenges, but we were able to withstand the adversity and come out ahead.”