Webbers Falls sophomore Anistyn Garner has grown up around the basketball gym and so it’s no surprise that athletically, basketball is her favorite sport. Her high school coach is also her father, Jordan Garner who coached her a lot as she was growing up,
“Anistyn has always been a gifted athlete and I’m sure it helped her growing up around the sport,” said the dad. “We’re a lot alike in personality so in the early going we weren’t very good at doing the coach/athlete thing, but I think we’ve figured it out pretty well now over the years,” he chuckled.
For her part, Anistyn agrees that the dynamic sometimes has its moments.
“There are some challenges to having your dad as your coach. Sometimes, because he is your dad, you might say stuff to him that you wouldn’t say to a regular coach, and we can get down each other’s throats a little but for the most part it’s pretty fun.”
In basketball, she had the luxury of coming into a program that was very talented with the likes of players like Samantha Shanks and veteran coach Jerry Ward to guide her.
“It was nice to come in as a freshman last year and have such a solid team to be a part of for a couple of years and it really helped me come out of my shell a little. But a lot of those girls will be gone after this year, so I know I’ll need to step up more next year.”
This time of year, Anistyn’s attention turns to track where she does the long jump, the 400-meter sprint and is on the 4X400 relay team. As a freshman last year, she qualified to go to state where she feels she learned a lot.
“Going last year really showed me that I had to keep improving especially after winning pretty easily in a lot of the meets leading up to regionals and state.”
And apparently, she did improve. She qualified for state again this year in the 400m and the 4X400 relay and just missed getting into the finals in both events.
“There was a big difference for me this year. I wasn’t as scared as last year and knew better what to expect. I was just .028 seconds short of making it to the second day in the 400 which was upsetting but I did run a :63 which was my second-best time of the season, so I was proud of that.”
Being the coach’s kid sometimes means you have more eyes on you than normal, but Anistyn Garner seems ready to handle it with character and lessons learned from a caring dad and a senior-laden team.