Lady Vikings hoop coach resigns

MABTON - Leaving a girls basketball program he describes as "...loaded with talent," Mabton High School Coach Mike Roettger is calling it quits.

Roettger, at the helm of the Lady Vikings hoop program for the past four years, submitted his letter of resignation this past Monday.

"Someone is going to inherit a pretty good team," Roettger said Monday afternoon, explaining that only one girl from last season's team graduated this spring.

Roettger and his Lady Vikes, 14-9 this past season, made school history by qualifying for the 1A District playoffs.

Whoever takes over the Mabton program this coming season will also have back the SCAC West's 2007-08 player of the year, Ana Jimenez. A senior this coming fall, she led the conference in scoring last season.

Roettger took charge of the Mabton girls hoop program in 2004. Roettger's squad, his first season, compiled a record of 13-7, which included a victory over the state's third ranked class 'B' team, the Kittitas Coyotes.

Roettger's team improved to 17-7 his second year, and advanced to the 'B' Regional tourney before losing out on a trip to State.

Moved up to the class 1A ranks in 2006-07, Roettger's Lady Vikings posted a decent 10-10 record, only missing out on a berth to the District tournament by a single victory.

Asked why he's leaving the head coaching position, the Mabton native simply said it's time for a change in the program.

"I don't feel I can give everything I'm capable of giving.

"It's all about the fire and the desire. Right now, it's no longer there," said Roettger, a product of the Mabton basketball program himself, who starred for the Vikings back in the early 1990s.

Roettger, however, doesn't rule out a return to the hardwood bench in the future.

"Down the road, who knows," he shrugged. "You never know what the future holds."


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