By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Courtney O’Donnell is coming home.
The Ravenna High School graduate was recently hired to be the new girls basketball coach for the Ravens.
O’Donnell played for the Ravens from 2010-2013 under head coach Sonny Tilden and will also be joining the Ravenna staff as a high school science teacher.
“Going back to where I grew up and the school that provided me many opportunities, I am very grateful to give kids the same experience that can help shape them into young people with strong values,” O’Donnell said. “Being able to work in the same building where I went to school has been an experience, and I think it really allows me to connect with some of my students.”
O’Donnell has brought in Ravenna teacher Madison Raynard was her varsity assistant, while Ravenna alumni Tyler Conley will handle junior varsity duties and the middle-school staff includes Candy Kekic coaching eighth grade and Allison Laudato coaching seventh grade.
O’Donnell’s coaching career started at Brown Middle School before branching off to Tallmadge as a girls basketball assistant, then most recently as a varsity assistant for the Field High School girls basketball program.
O’Donnell is also currently the head softball coach at Kenmore-Garfield High School.
“Each place, there was so much to take away from,” O’Donnell said. “The coaches that helped me learn and that I can still reach out to — and the players, the different kids nd cultures I got to be a part of. I am just thankful for those relationships and the experiences that have helped shape me and gave me my foundation as a coach.”
The Ravenna girls basketball program is looking for an upswing after finishing a combined 10-30 over the last two seasons (6-15 in 2021-22 and 4-15 in 2020-21).
The last winning season for Ravenna came in 2018-19, when the group finished 18-6 and send place in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division.
O’Donnell is excited to put in the work necessary to return the Ravens to the next level, and her heart is right where it wants to be.
“Being a Ravenna alum means you are a Raven for life. It doesn’t leave you no matter where you go, so it is nice to come back home.”
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