Jaime Maxey was recently calling schools to schedule matches for her Chattahoochee volleyball team next season, and among those was Denmark. Forsyth County’s newest high school, set to open this fall, hasn’t hired a volleyball coach, so the task fell to Danes athletic director Jamie Corr.
The two ironed out details for a volleyball match, but the conversation eventually turned to basketball. Maxey played in high school and college and had been an assistant on Chattahoochee’s girls basketball team for two seasons. Denmark hadn’t hired a varsity head coach for their program at the time.
That conversation led to Maxey being named the Danes’ first girls basketball coach Wednesday.
“It was just sort of an opportunity that came out of the sky,” Maxey said.
What intrigued Maxey the most in talking with Corr that day was the prospect of building a program from the ground up in a smaller school setting, at least to start with. Denmark expects to open with approximately 1,690 students, with a capacity of 2,500. Forsyth County was recently included among the top 100 fastest-growing counties in the country by percentage growth, according to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, so Denmark figures to eventually reach the same numbers as the county’s other public high schools.
That initial enrollment will feel closer to Maxey’s experience at The Marist School. The private Catholic school in Atlanta has approximately 1,100 students, according to its website. Maxey played on Marist’s state runner-up teams in 2006 and 2007 before going on to play at Oglethorpe University and then Rhodes College.
“Things like school spirit, school pride, have always been important to me,” Maxey said. “Having an opportunity to start that at a school is what I’m most excited about and what drew me to apply to the position.”
Maxey said she also relished the support from Corr and Denmark principal Heather Gordy. She made her introduction to potential players Wednesday night. Many will be coming from South, she said, and she won’t know the true talent level she’s working with until the team begins summer workouts at the end of May.
But Maxey is already familiar with the girls basketball scene from her two seasons as an assistant at Chattahoochee, the first of which saw the Cougars play in the same region as Lambert, North Forsyth, South and West Forsyth.
“We’re fortunate to be in an area with kids who love the game and kids who are athletic,” Maxey said. “It’s going to take a couple years to build our program, but I’m really excited about the kids we’re going to get. I think we’re going to be just as competitive as the other schools in the next few years.
“I’m excited to build relationships with (other county) coaches and become part of the Forsyth community.”