With experienced new coach and dedicated players, Ashland girls drive toward success

4 years ago

ASHLAND, Maine — Adding a new coach with an illustrious past, and a cadet of young players with a passion for basketball, the 2019-2020 Ashland girls varsity basketball team has high hopes for the upcoming season.


Coach Diana Trams comes to lead her hometown team with a career that is already noteworthy: she won three state championships as the coach of the Washburn girls basketball team. And as a player, she helped bring home a state championship for Ashland in 1991.

It was during her playing career that Trams said she learned a valuable lesson that influences her coaching style to this day. In 1990, the Ashland Hornets went undefeated before losing in the quarterfinals after the team’s “star player,” suffered an ACL injury in the last game of the regular season.

She said the 1991 championship team was much more balanced, with multiple players taking part in the action rather than relying on the prowess of just one. She said she tries to bring that same balance to her teams as a coach. 

“In coaching now, that is something I emphasize: team goals and working together,” Trams said. 

The members of the 2019-2020 Ashland girls varsity basketball team are juniors Danni Carter, Hailee Cunningham, Kaitlyn Dotson, Kaitlyn Ferro, Willow Hall, Brooke Harris and Jamie Poulin; sophomore Mia Carney; and freshmen McKenna Condon and Yasmeen Hutchinson.

Coach Trams acknowledged that potential personal conflicts between players could get in the way of this goal. Yet, she said resolving such disputes, when they do emerge, helps prepare players for the conflicts they will experience in the “real world,” especially in the workplace. 

“It can make it challenging as a coach for sure,” Trams said. “But when you have to work through difficulties or personality clashes, it helps you come together as a team.” 

She is hoping each of the girls games can be a learning experience: to help them progress as players throughout the season and gradually “come together as a team.” If it all goes to plan, she said, they will make it far. 

“One of the things I’ve said to them is ‘we don’t want to just make it to Bangor. We want to surprise some people when we get there,’” Trams said.

Trams said that one of her big focuses was on creating disciplined defensive play by her team. She also said she is looking to decrease the number of fouls players incur while attempting to draw turnovers. 

“Getting in foul trouble last year kind of limited what they could do,” Trams said. 

The coach said what distinguishes this team is their quickness and athleticism. Offensively, she hopes that the girls can move the balls in an uptempo fashion, overwhelming opponents with their quick style of play. 

She said their endless dedication to the team is another positive she has noticed and pointed out that her players made it to practice that day in the early morning, during Thanksgiving vacation.

“The rest of your friends are home in bed, and you are getting up at 7:00, coming into practice,” Trams said. “They keep the right attitude.”

Students on the Ashland girls team acknowledged that team management was not always an easy task, but said they had a healthy support system. 

“I think time management is something that is a little tricky for everyone, but our coach is really understanding, and our teammates are really supportive as well,” said Cunningham, a junior forward.

Ultimately, several of the players said they looked forward to growing closer as a team, on and off the court. 

“I want us to come together as a family and build chemistry and trust in each other,” said junior point guard Carter. “We’ll go far.”