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Following a second six-year tenure as Bandys girls basketball coach, Beth Queen is stepping down.
Queen, who has spent 16 seasons as a player and coach at the school, said she knew before this past season started that it would be her last.
â€śThat was part of my plan the whole time,â€ť Queen said. â€śWhen I came back six years ago, the Bandys girls basketball program wasnâ€™t very successful. I wanted to rebuild the program. At that time, it was my intention to stay six years.â€ť
Queen coached the Trojans from 1998-2003 before leaving to spend time with her family
In her absence, Bandys struggled to compete, and won 49 percent of its games from 2003-06.
Returning to coach Bandys in 2007, Queenâ€™s first two teams went 5-17 and 21-8, respectively.
During the five seasons that followed from 2008-12, the Lady Trojans never won less than 21 games.
As a player and coach, Queenâ€™s record is 342-110, including a 231-103 mark as coach and 111-7 record as a player.
Despite her successes on the court, Queen said the Bandys area is what she appreciates the most.
â€śYou could say my blood is green,â€ť she said. â€śI did grow up in the Bandys community. The people at Bandys have always been wonderful to me, as a student, as a player and as a coach. I think the people in the Bandys community are just wonderful people. It is just a great place to be. It will always be a special place in my heart.â€ť
Queenâ€™s teams made the playoffs in each of her 12 seasons as coach, including four trips to the West Regionals (2001, 2010-12).
After trips in 2010 and 2011 to the West Regionals, Queenâ€™s 2012 squad was poised to make a deep playoff run.
Behind seniors Jesse Story, Taylor Sigmon and Queenâ€™s daughter, Chelsey, the Lady Trojans won a share of the Catawba Valley 2A title this season.
Bandys (28-3) made it back to the Western Regionals for a third-straight time, advancing to the finals before falling to eventual state runner-up Wilkes Central.
Dreams of a state title, Queen said, werenâ€™t the sole focus of her program.
â€śI thought our community talked more about that than we did as a team,â€ť Queen said. â€śHonestly, up until this year, we didnâ€™t talk a lot about that. You didnâ€™t hear me talk about that a lot. Obviously, when I coach, our goal is to win the game we are playing in at that point. We take it one game at a time. This year, we had a long run. We came close. We got close enough to actually talk about it. We came up a little short, but the kids gave me all the effort they had. I donâ€™t regret it one bit.â€ť
Queen said the hardest part of her departure will be leaving the returning players.
â€śItâ€™s difficult leaving the juniors, sophomores and freshman that are there, but there are always going to be some kids you donâ€™t want to leave,â€ť Queen said. â€śYou have to make that decision, and you have to go with it. I will be there to support them. Those kids know if they need anything from me, all they have to do is to come see me.â€ť
Hanging up the whistle as the girls basketball coach, Queen will remain a teacher at Bandys and has also agreed to help current volleyball coach Randi Keith with the team next season.
Keith is expecting a baby during the Lady Trojansâ€™ conference season in the fall.Â
The 44-year-old Queen said another run as Lady Trojans basketball coach is possible, but sheâ€™s focused on taking time away from the game she loves.
â€śYou never say never, right?â€ť Queen said. â€śAt the present time, I do not see a return. You just never know what might happen. Iâ€™ll just play it by ear. My intentions are to be a spectator and enjoy the sport for a while.â€ťView more articles in: