Page 22 - APRIL2021
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Page 22 Sports
By ChristoPher tremBlay
As a little girl Tiffany Doan found that she had a lot of energy to expend so she decided to get involved in softball at a local com- munity center. It was not long after that she found that she had a love for basketball, as well. She con- tinued to play the two sports and added a third, field hockey, when in middle school. Upon entering Newfound Regional High School, she decided that she wanted to continue to play all three sports and represent her school as a team player of the Bears.
“Going into high school, my goal was to make the varsity team in all three sports as a freshman,” Doan said. “I made all three teams! I was a starter for the bas- ketball and softball team freshman year. Eventually, the following year as a sophomore, started for the field hockey team.”
Once on the varsity teams, Doan recalls, the young freshman soon learned that the game was now being played on a very differ- ent level than the one she was used to in middle school.
“It was a real shocker and scary at the same time. Going from the middle school to high school var- sity sports was a huge jump,” she said. “In 8th grade, sports were fun. But, in high school, it seemed everything mattered all the time. The intensity level was insane. I learned that was something that you could not practice (learning to handle the intensity of the game). Instead, you had to learn it by ac- tually playing.”
While learning to harness any fears or natural anxiety of mov- ing right into a varsity roll from middle school, her Coaches were supportive encouraging her to be the best she could. Additionally, Doan recalls, her teammates were
More than an Athlete
 also always there for her and en- couraged her every time that she questioned herself.
“It was during my sophomore campaign that I feel I was able to figure things out.”, reflected Tif- fany. Note only was she learning the game at a high school level but, also, a familiar face from her past, her coach from sixth grade, Kammi Williams became her Var- sity Coach for Basketball. Coach Williams remembered Doan and was familiar with her traits on the court.
“As a freshman I stayed in my own little box as everything was intimidating,” Doan said. “But, by my sophomore year, I was a lit- tle more comfortable and Coach Williams was now our coach and she knew my strengths and weak- nesses.”
In her first year on the varsity squad, Doan was only able to score 14 points the entire season. By her sophomore year she dras- tically improved that number by dropping in 127 points for the Bears. Her scoring numbers con- tinued to climb in her junior year when she knocked down 148. In the shortened senior season, (due to COVID restrictions), she still managed to score 113.
“I could see that as a freshman then Tiffany was an up-and-com- ing player, despite only scoring 14 points that year,” Coach Williams said. “As a junior she led the team in assists, was our third leading scorer this year, and was our lead- ing three-point shooter both those years. She was named to the All- State team two years in a row.”
At 5’5” and a mere 115 pounds Doan is relied upon for her de- fense on the court. She may be small in stature, but she is asked to play big.
“I’m asked to play down low where I have to push girls around
her who are 2-3 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than I am,” she said. “It’s tough but I just go in there and push; defense is a choice.”
This past season Newfound advanced to the Division 3 New Hampshire Interscholastic Ath- letic Association (NHIAA) Final 4 for the third consecutive year and, although a much smaller team (height wise) than their op- ponents, the Bears put up a fight and showed they belonged.
Coming into the season Doan and her Newfound teammates were unsure what was going to happen with Covid still causing havoc amongst the high school sports. Eventually the team was given the go ahead for the season, but it would be an abbreviated
“It was a huge weight lifted off
our shoulders I was so glad we could play because it’s my senior season and my last year playing high school basketball with this group of girls.”, Doan said. “Prior to the season getting underway we didn’t know what was going to happen; would be get to play or would it be cancelled all to- gether?”
In addition to having a short- ened season, there were a lot of new rules to obey by. This in- cluded wearing masks 100% of the time. According to the senior, it took some time to get use to wearing the masks, especially since she had asthma. But they did and eventually advanced into the Final 4, again.
Not only is Doan a dedicated athlete, but she also takes pride in her academics at Newfound Re- gional High School. The senior is currently fourth in her class and will be heading to the University of Tampa to study nursing when she graduates from high school.
“She is a high achiever and much more than an athlete,” Coach Williams said. “She is a student athlete that takes her studying seriously and that is more of the big picture to who Tiffany really is.”
Doan comes from a long line of doctors in her family, thus her decision to go into nursing. When asked, why Tampa when the New England area is full of some of the best hospital in the world?” She said, “I’ve seen it firsthand that the medical field is a rewarding one. I decided on Tampa because I like the warm weather. I wanted to try a new area and become more in- dependent while finding myself.”
This All-Star athlete and scholar comes with another attri- bute, a noticeably big heart. The family has been going to the Saint Francis Inn, in Kensington, Penn- sylvania every Christmas to help in the soup kitchen serving the homeless and needy for Christ- mas.
“The first year we did it, it was a shocker to everyone as we just wanted to stay home and enjoy Christmas, opening our gifts, let alone, not going to another state,” the senior said. “It definitely was an eye opener. It is really good to give back and taught me that you cannot judge a book by its cover until you really know the story be- hind their situation. It was tough this past Christmas because we were not allowed to go, and I re- ally missed the friends we made there while helping people.”
With the field hockey and bas- ketball seasons now complete, Doan has only a few months left in her high school career and only her softball season left before she says goodbye to her Newfound Regional High School family be- fore packing her bags and heading south to start the next leg of her incredible journey.
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