Amanda Francis: The Heart of the UNOH Lady Racers

January 13, 2012 3:44 pm Comments Off on Amanda Francis: The Heart of the UNOH Lady Racers Views: 180

The following is an article featured in the Lima News on 1/11/12 on the front page of the sports section written by Bob Seggerson.

 


At 5’ 8” and barely over 100 pounds, Amanda Francis isn’t the kind of athlete who grabs your immediate attention.  But if you are watching the Lady Racers of the University of Northwestern Ohio play basketball, your eyes will quickly be drawn to this dynamic young woman.

 

Francis became the leading scorer in UNOH women’s basketball history this season but has her eyes set on higher team goals.  She plays with the poker face that all great competitors carry.  Her jump shot is a thing of beauty but it is her relentless attack to the rim that takes Amanda’s game to another level.  In the open court Francis becomes unstoppable as she twists and contorts her body to slip past defenders, making impossible plays look easy.

 

Amanda is clearly an athlete in love with the game of basketball and a self described “gym rat.”  Her mom, Tracey Francis, recalls that she was a tomboy growing up and was always playing on the basket set up in the driveway of their country home in the farming community just east of Sidney, Ohio. “We couldn’t get her to come inside.  She would have played twenty four hours a day if we let her,” remembers her mom.  Amanda and her older brother, Andy, who played college basketball at Mount Vernon Nazarene, battled each other for hours on end in their driveway court.  “I can’t tell you how many times I looked out the window in the middle of winter and watched Amanda shovel snow out of the way so she could practice shooting,” remembers her mom

 

Her father, Craig Francis, a long time basketball coach at Fairlawn High School, mentions that “athletics came easy for Amanda.”  And he also recalls that she was always competitive.  “Amanda played to win at everything she did, even cards. She hates to lose.”

 

Amanda actually came to UNOH on a volleyball scholarship but walked on to the basketball team and eventually became a starter and one of the leading scorers for the Lady Racers in her freshman year.  Following that busy year, Amanda decided to stick to one sport and she allowed her heart to make the selection.

 

But it was also her heart that almost brought her marvelous basketball career to a screeching halt.

 

This past summer Amanda began experiencing what she described as a “weird feeling” when she played.  She was first treated for anxiety but knew it had to be more than that.

“My heart would just start racing and I couldn’t slow it down,” remembers Amanda.

She went to see a cardiologist and, after tests, it was discovered that Amanda had “an extra wire that was causing her heart to accelerate.”

 

The cardiologist sat Amanda down and explained the problem to her.  He advised Amanda that her basketball career was at serious risk.  Amanda was to undergo a specific treatment, an ablation, and then wait a month and a half to see if she could resume any physical activity.  So began “the longest six weeks of my life” states Amanda.  “I just couldn’t imagine not playing basketball.”

 

Amanda spent part of September and all of October on the sideline watching her teammates practice as she waited for the results.  “It was really hard for me” recalls Francis.  “I not only missed basketball, I began to see that the new girls Coach Menchhofer brought into the program were special players. I really wanted the chance to play with them.”

 

Coach Kyle Menchhofer’s first recruiting class included six promising freshmen and four solid veterans with community college experience.  Bringing this talented group of players together was going to be difficult, but doing it without Francis on the court was going to be an even greater challenge.

 

In late October, following a final stress test, Amanda received the results she has been praying for.  Just days before the season began she was cleared to play basketball.  “It was like this giant load was lifted from my shoulders” remembers Amanda.

 

“It was hard at first because I was out of shape and I was real cautious when I played.” recalls Francis. The Lady Racers came out of the gate with 7 losses in their first 8 games, all on the road.  Amanda played tentatively, worried about contact.  “I just didn’t feel like myself,” she remembers.

 

But Coach Menchhofer saw the chemistry of his new team coming together and began to push Francis hard.  “I started to challenge her, to demand more and she responded” says Menchhofer.  “As she got into shape and regained her confidence, her game soared and so did our team.”  UNOH has rolled off seven consecutive wins and Francis has established herself as the leading scorer in the WHAC Conference.

 

The Lady Racers live up to their name, scoring an average of 83 points a game in there recent string of victories.  The pace of their game is relentless and they run the floor at every opportunity. Unselfishness and hard play fuel their chemistry.  As they enter the heart of their conference slate they will have an opportunity to test themselves against some of the toughest teams on their schedule.  “We are ready for that test” states Coach Menchhofer.  His girls proved that Saturday as they sent a clear message with a stunning win over Concordia, one of the nation’s top ranked teams.

 

And as for Amanda Francis, she is living her dream and enjoying her second chance to play the game that she loves so much.

 

She is all heart.

 

bseggerson@lcchs.edu

Comments are closed

Other News

  • College of Applied Technologies UNOH Dean’s List Announced for June Session 2015

    Dean’s List Announced for June Session 2015

    The University of Northwestern Ohio is proud to acknowledge its Dean’s List for the June Session 2015 for students in the College of Applied Technologies.  The following full‑time students received a grade point average of 3.5 or better: Western Australia               Mitchell, Brodie James East Hampton              CT   Gagliano, Thomas Charles Clermont                     FL   Ford, Preben Miguel Riverview                    FL   Storch, Chase Matthew Satellite Beach            FL   Wilson, Dillon Patrick Altona                         IL   Roberts, Aaron Scott Frankfort                     IL   Benninghoff, […]

    Read more →
  • College of Business, Occupational Professions, & Health Professions UNOH President’s & Dean’s List Announced for 2015 Spring Quarter

    President’s & Dean’s List Announced for 2015 Spring Quarter

    The University of Northwestern Ohio is proud to acknowledge its President’s List for Spring Quarter 2015 for students in the College of Applied Technologies. The following full-time and part-time students received a grade point average of 4.0: Fort Jennings               OH   Saum, Daniel A Lima                           OH   Duvall, Jason Michael Lima                           OH   Kagels, Anthony Michael Lima                          OH   Kemp, Timothy Kenneth The University of Northwestern Ohio is proud to acknowledge its President’s List for Spring Quarter 2015 for […]

    Read more →
  • College of Applied Technologies UNOH Dean’s List Announced for May Session 2015

    Dean’s List Announced for May Session 2015

    The University of Northwestern Ohio is proud to acknowledge its Dean’s List for the May Session 2015 for students in the College of Applied Technologies.  The following full‑time students received a grade point average of 3.5 or better:   Amado                        AZ   Gerl, Andrew A. Elizabeth                     CO   Tolley, Brandon William East Hampton              CT   Gagliano, Thomas Charles Jewett City                  CT   Thompson, Thomas J Clermont                     FL   Ford, Preben Miguel Okeechobee                FL   Villalpando, Calixtro Medina Titusville                     FL   […]

    Read more →
  • College of Business, Occupational Professions, & Health Professions UNOH

    UNOH to Host Reverse Career Fair for College of Business, Health Professions & Occupational Professions Students

    The University of Northwestern Ohio is hosting its first ever Reverse Career Fair for students in the Colleges of Business, Health Professions, and Occupational Professions!  The event will take place June 3, 2015 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the UNOH Event Center’s Presidential Hall.   The Reverse Career Fair is a new spin on the traditional job fair.  In this event, students are pre-registered and each will have a station to sell themselves to potential employers who will […]

    Read more →
  • College of Applied Technologies UNOH Dean’s List Announced for March Session 2015

    Dean’s List Announced for March Session 2015

    The University of Northwestern Ohio is proud to acknowledge its Dean’s List for the March Session 2015 for students in the College of Applied Technologies. The following full‑time students received a grade point average of 3.5 or better:   Vail                            AZ   Hess , Michael Anthony Anaheim                     CA   Loera , Robert Eric Elizabeth                     CO   Tolley , Brandon William Jewett City                  CT   Thompson , Thomas J Vernon Rockville          CT   Stone , Mitchell Scott Montverde                   FL   Ford […]

    Read more →
  • College of Business, Occupational Professions, & Health Professions UNOH President’s & Dean’s List Announced for 2015 Winter Quarter

    President’s & Dean’s List Announced for 2015 Winter Quarter

    PRESIDENT’S LIST The University of Northwestern Ohio is proud to acknowledge its President’s List for Winter Quarter 2015 for students in the College of Applied Technologies. The following full-time students received a grade point average of 4.0: Lima                           OH   Kemp, Timothy Kenneth Ladysmith                   WI   Wojcik, Nicholas John   The University of Northwestern Ohio is proud to acknowledge its President’s List for Winter Quarter 2015 for students in the College of Applied Technologies. The following part-time students received a […]

    Read more →
  • College of Applied Technologies UNOH Dean’s List Announced for February Session 2015

    Dean’s List Announced for February Session 2015

    The University of Northwestern Ohio is proud to acknowledge its Dean’s List for the February Session 2015 for students in the College of Applied Technologies.  The following full time students received a grade point average of 3.5 or better: Anaheim      CA   Loera, Robert Eric Colorado Springs      CO   Young, Ryan A. Elizabeth      CO   Tolley, Brandon William Moodus      CT   Flis, Devon John Bonita Springs      FL   Ur, Taran Gene Dover      FL   Foster, Jesse James Montverde      FL   Ford, Preben Miguel Palmetto      FL   Ingram, Wade […]

    Read more →
  • College of Applied Technologies UNOH Dean’s List Announced for January Session 2015

    Dean’s List Announced for January Session 2015

    DEAN’S LIST ANNOUNCED The University of Northwestern Ohio is proud to acknowledge its Dean’s List for the January Session 2015 for students in the College of Applied Technologies. The following full‑time students received a grade point average of 3.5 or better: Amado                                AZ   Gerl, Andrew A. Elizabeth                             CO   Tolley, Brandon William Jewett City                          CT   Thompson, Thomas J Moodus                              CT   Flis, Devon John Arcadia                               FL   Gonzalez, Jose Manuel Bartow                                FL   Zmijski, Gary Alphonse Lake Worth                    […]

    Read more →