Ringgold Girls Basketball Team Feeding Off Passion of Coach Stockburger


Ringgold, GA-(WDEF) When Margaret Stockburger retired a few years ago as the head basketball coach at Northwest Whitfield, she thought she was done with coaching. Then she took a job at her alma mater Ringgold, coaching the girls middle school team.
But after Ringgold’s high school team went winless three years ago, Stockburger came aboard, and the Tigers have been going gangbusters ever since.
State tournament wins must be especially gratifying for Ringgold’s Bethany Headrick because she was on that Tigers team that hit rock bottom with an 0-26 record.
Said Headrick-“It was an emotional roller coaster. We were not put together. We were not a family like we are now.”
In steps Margaret Stockburger as the head coach.
Said guard Sydney Shutters-“And she’s so passionate about it.”
Do you think?
Said Shutters-“When we see her face turn red, and those veins are popping out of her neck, we know she’s mad, and we better get it together.”
Said Stockburger-“Oh I get all kinds of comments. You’re so intense in a ballgame that the veins pop out in your neck and everything else. You know if I’m not going to get intense, then I don’t need to be here coaching.”
Added Shutters-“It gets us riled up and pumped up. She just wants us to have energy and enthusiasm out on the court.”
And Stockburger had Ringgold riled up in her first season, as they reached a lofty goal.
Said Stockburger-“You know our goal the first year was to at least qualify for the state tournament, which we did.”
In year two, the turnaround continued as the Tigers beat one of their big rivals.
Said Headrick-“Heritage actually. They blew us out over and over again. I had never beaten them. Then my junior year after our rebuilding year, we beat them twice. Both times by like twenty.”
And now in year three, Ringgold has already claimed two victories in the state tournament, including one Tuesday night over East hall.
Reporter-“Just how much fun is it right now?”
Said Headrick-“It’s exhilarating.”
Added Stockburger-“I love their emotion and intensity and the love for the game.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.