Unusual season includes double duty for Harper's Stochl

 
By Jonathan Cregier
jcregier@dailyherald.com
Updated 12/20/2017 10:49 PM
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  • Harper College women's basketball coach Sean Stochl works with one of his teams in a recent game. Stochl is also the men's basketball coach.

    Harper College women's basketball coach Sean Stochl works with one of his teams in a recent game. Stochl is also the men's basketball coach. Submitted photo

  • Harper College women's basketball coach Sean Stochl works with his team during a recent game.

    Harper College women's basketball coach Sean Stochl works with his team during a recent game. Submitted photo

  • Doug Spiwak

    Doug Spiwak

It has not been your normal men's and women's basketball season for Harper College.

Last spring, Harper men's coach Sean Stochl added the duties of leading the women's program, succeeding Jenny Turpel.

Coaching both programs is a challenge for Stochl, but Harper athletic director Doug Spiwak likes what he's seen.

"Sean has done a good job," Spiwak said. "I've noticed a significant change in our women's program."

Stochl became the second North Central Community College Conference coach to lead his school's men's and women's programs in the same season. Last season, the Harper women did not finish the season due to a lack of players.

"It hasn't been difficult coaching both teams," Stochl said. "Challenges pop up."

Still, this season Spiwak sees no issues with both teams fielding a roster for the duration of the season.

Milwaukee Area Technical College coach Randy Casey was the first N4C coach to be asked to pull double duty last season, leading the Stormers to a 32-28 combined record. Cosea Headd-Copeland is now overseeing the women's program. Milwaukee's situation had no bearing on Spiwak's decision to have one person coach both Harper squads.

On Wednesday, both the Harper men's and women's teams hosted the College of Lake County. But even home games are a little unusual this year, as the Hawks' own Sports and Wellness Center is undergoing a renovation; all of Harper's home dates are being played at Robert Morris University in Arlington Heights.

Neither result was to Harper's liking, as Lake County won the women's game 68-33 and topped Harper in the men's game 76-59.

In the women's game, Ashley Shapiro (Palatine) paced Harper with 13 points. The Hawks (3-11) struggled from 3-point range, making 2 of 25 attempts.

On Dec. 9, the women's team came away with a 52-49 road victory at CLC. In that matchup, Angelina Villasin led the way in that one with a game-best 27 points, which included five 3s.

In the men's game Wednesday, Harper (2-13) had three players reach double figures. Jesse Young led the way with 26 points, sophomore Joe Gatziolis (Elk Grove) had 13 and Corin Daniel finished with 10.

In the Dec. 9 matchup against the Lancers, Young, a freshman, finished with a game-high 27 points.

Gatziolis said it was tough not having a gym on campus this year -- but also that coaching direction from Stochl has not been a problem.

"He's 100 percent focused on whichever team he is with," Gatziolis said. "He's been the same, upbeat coach."

Both the men's and women's teams now take a break from games before hosting Wright College on Jan. 3 in N4C openers.

"We're making it work," Stochl said.

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