After Neil Blankenship resigned as the women’s basketball coach in February the search began to find his replacement. Swain High didn’t have to look far for that person as this past week they named Annette Clapsaddle, an EBCI tribal member, as the head women’s basketball coach. Clapsaddle spent the last year as Blankenship’s assistant and head junior varsity coach.
“I am excited to have this opportunity,” she stated this past week. “I look forward to building the basketball program here at Swain, as well as working with an outstanding group of young ladies. I have a great deal of confidence in this program, its athletes, and its community supporters. It will be our mission to grow the program into one of the strongest 1A programs in the State.”
Clapsaddle was a four year varsity player at Smoky Mountain High School, where she was named all-conference. She also spent four years working in the Yale University Women’s Basketball Office. This is her fourth year as an English teacher at Swain High School.
Her qualifications, familiarity, and enthusiasm were not the only things that made her an appealing choice to Swain High Athletic Director Frank Maennle.
“All of her other positives aside she is a quality person,” Maennle said. “And when you lose a quality person like Neil Blankenship, you need to fill that spot with another quality person, and I know we have done that by hiring Coach Clapsaddle.”
– Toby Burrell, Swain County High School