Competitive Drive: More than just a game

Competitive Drive

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Former Shockers and current Derby High School varsity coach, Jodie Karsak, has had a lot of success at the school. In the last eight years the team has made five straight 6A appearances to the Final Four and they claimed the state title in 2018.

“I’ve only lost four games my whole high school career,” said Derby High school senior Jaidyn Schomp.

“I’m a competitor,” said Karsak. “You hate to lose.”

Since accepting the job as Head coach in 2011, Karsak’s mission has been to pour purpose into her athletes.

“Leadership creates the culture, which then creates the behavior,” said Dan Harrison, who has coached under Karsak for over five years. “It was wonderful to see and become apart of something truly uncommon.”

Karsak has been Derby’s girl’s basketball coach since 2011 and has made five straight appearances to the 6A state tournament.

“I think, at the end of the day, it’s how do you define success? Society tells us it’s about our record. We talk about being uncommon, and we want to be different,” said Karsak, “If we do common things in an uncommon way, we’re going to have really great success.”

“It’s exciting for kids to go, ‘yeah, I’m a part of something really neat and fun and successful, but I get to be a part of it and I get to write my own chapter,'” said Harrison.

“They still have college to get to and through,” said Karsak. “They’re still finding themselves. But when they’re old, what kind of adults are they? and then come to me and asked me ‘do you think you’ve been successful’ here.”

Karsak helped Derby win their first state title since 1985.

“She’s done a really good job of making sure that we stay hungry,” said Harrison.

During Karsak’s eighth and final season with the Panthers, the legacy she is leaving behind means more to her than the 121 wins in her stat book.

“My cup runneth over, right? Sometimes I’m humble and I say ‘Lord, why me?’ because this situation, I feel so undeserving because it has been such a blessing,” said Karsak.

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