BY RILEY PALSHAW
After having three different varsity girls’ basketball coaches in the past three years, Carmel High has hired Kevin Price, a Salinas High alum and veteran basketball coach who plans to stay committed to the program for at least 15 years while focusing on family and community.
The team itself has done fairly well lately, tying for first in the Cypress Division of the Pacific Coast Athletic League with a 7-3-0 league record last season, leading to a loss in the first round of the CCS Division Playoffs, and placing fourth in the Mission Trail Athletic League the year before.
Now Price plans to guide the team to even more success. Having coached everything from freshman boys’ basketball at Salinas High for seven years to Carmel Middle School’s sixth and seventh grade team for two years, Price has also assisted with youth basketball programs in hopes of introducing kids to Carmel’s basketball family sooner.
Recently hired JV girls’ basketball coach Alan Shipnuck, who assisted Price in coaching six out of seven years at SHS and both years at CMS, shares his motives: “This is a serious endeavor at every level to get every girl on the Monterey Peninsula excited about Carmel High basketball.”
While their goals for the community are clear, the coaches want to focus on developing the team into a family, as well as working on technical skills.
“We want to put a foundation in place for a program that year in and year out competes, does it the right way, gets better, has fun and provides some real value for everyone who’s involved in it,” Price says.
This basketball family he hopes to build will also consist of immediate families. Shipnuck’s freshman daughter Abby, who’s been coached by Price before, will be both coached by her father and her cousin, Marcus Firme, another Salinas High graduate and the assistant JV coach. There’s the family connection there, but also through Price himself, who has a three-year-old daughter he plans to coach in high school, meaning he wants to be in the program for at least 15 years.
This pattern of fathers and daughters is continued as assistant varsity coach Dave Castagna will have two of his daughters in the high school’s basketball program this year: sophomore Summer, who played varsity last year, and freshman Delaney, who will join the CHS hoops family this year.
Price and Shipnuck are also lifetime best friends, growing up together, playing high school basketball together, and for the past 11 years coaching together, all of which adds to the sense of community they want to create.
Adding to that community are girls who have already had the opportunity to play under Price in the past and are excited for his return as a coach.
“He is a smart coach with his plays,” says sophomore Elle Bohlman, who played varsity last season and was coached by Price in seventh grade. “He knows how to put everyone on the team in the best position for them to use their skill set.”
Price hopes having players already know him and his coaching in the past will benefit this year’s team.
“That’s always good for momentum that kids can speak to,” says Golden Anderson, the athletic director at CHS, “so that he’s not so much of an unknown to everybody.”
The team is now preparing for its first game, which will take place Nov. 25 at Alisal High School at 7 p.m.
“I think this year is going to be a big growing year for varsity since we graduated three of our starting seniors who were key players and leaders on the team,” says junior Olivia Randazzo. “So I’m excited for [Price] to bring an intense spirit and hopefully a season that leads to the playoffs.”