New Era in Cheshire Girls Basketball
by Mike Lewis, 2018 (posted 12-15-16)
On December 15th, 2015, following her team’s opening victory against Guilford, Sarah Mik announced that the 2015-16 season as Cheshire High School varsity girls basketball head coach would be her last. As the Rams fought to an 8-12 record along with state tournament berth last year, the question loomed: Who would be the replacement? It wasn’t until May 6th, 2016 that the decision was announced: Michelle Vieira would be Cheshire’s next head coach.
Vieira was a 2000 graduate of Cheshire High, and played point guard for the Rams during her time there. Eight years later, she got a job as an assistant coach for Cheshire varsity girls basketball, and held the position for two years under Coach Mik. In 2010, she moved to take the head coaching job for Wethersfield varsity girls basketball, and stayed there for six years before taking this job back in Ramland. She also currently is an assistant field hockey coach under Eileen Wildermann, and a Physical Education teacher at Norton Elementary School here in town.
I talked with Vieira following the girls basketball team’s first scrimmage of the year against Platt last week, and asked her about her decision to return and thoughts on the upcoming season.
Q: Why did you choose to return to Cheshire?
A: “It’s kind of your dream situation. I played here, was a 2000 grad, and I got to work with Coach Mik. I teach in town, so it was a nice transition to come back and coach in my own district where I grew up.”
Q: Do you feel being an assistant under Coach Mik previously helps you ease into this?
A: “Yes, absolutely. I’m familiar with the players, whether I had them as students or as field hockey players. I’ve always kept in touch with the program, and obviously having Coach Mik as a mentor and being able to ask her questions has made it a very smooth transition from one school to another. “
Q: Do your coaching tactics compare with Coach Mik’s at all?
A: “A little bit, as I obviously learned a lot from her over the years. Then, during my time over the past six years at Wethersfield I started to develop some of my own strategies with my own thoughts. So, I have some things that Coach Mik has taught me, and then certainly putting a new spin on other things.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the team this season?
A: “After a week of preseason, I’m happy with where they are. They’re hard workers, great kids first and foremost, and we are looking towards being a tough defensive team, and an overall difficult team to face day in and day out for our opponents”
Q: Why should students come to the game this year?
A: “That is a great question. To see exciting basketball. I think it’s always great when students support each other. It’s great for our girls to have friends and fans fill up the bleachers, but you will see absolute hard work from our players, great basketball, and I hope that the student body comes out to support us.”
Come cheer on the varsity girls basketball team in it’s home opener on Friday December 16th, when they host Hamden.