By Kris Freeman for White House High School
WHITE HOUSE – The Lady Devils basketball program will try to continue big steps forward this fall after a Region 5-AA quarterfinal appearance, and on Friday introduced Terri Palmiter as the new head coach for the girls hoops program.
Palmiter will stay in Sumner County Schools and comes from nearby Hendersonville, where she served as a basketball assistant coach two years ago and the current head golf coach. She will begin the next school year at White House and lead the Devils onto the floor this upcoming season.
“I am so excited to be at White House,” she said. “White House is a great community with huge support from businesses and parents and I just love the community, and excited to be a part of a great school. The welcome I received from the team was top notch.
“It takes a village to help kids succeed and God placed me right where I am supposed to be. White House is definitely the place to be and I am so appreciative to God for his guidance and the plan for me to be a Blue Devil.”
A JOURNEY TO WHITE HOUSE
As the head golf coach at Hendersonville, she led the Commandos to an individual state tournament appearance and top 15 finish for one golfer, and three athletes signed to collegiate golf scholarships. She was also an assistant coach for basketball under John Filson for one year, and also the junior varsity coach. Previously to Hendersonville, she worked in White House at nearby Heritage from 2013-19, where she led the golf team to a state tournament appearance in all but one season, with 15 golfers received the TSSAA Academic Excellence Award for a GPA of 3.5 or higher. She also coached basketball as an assistant with Mike Petrone, Clay Head and Rett Roach.
“Dr. Mary Jo Holmes took a chance on me and I am forever grateful to her,” Palmiter said. “I learned so much too from Mike Petrone, Clay Head and Rett Roach and I am forever grateful for my time at Heritage. I always mention the ones I coached with because we had great chemistry and I learned so much from all of the them.”
Palmiter has a Masters in Special Education from Grand Canyon University and a Bachelor of Science from Austin Peay State University, where she was on a golf scholarship and then played softball under Cheri Kempf her senior season when golf was finished. She has previous coaching and professional experience at Sumner Academy,, White House Christian Academy, White House Heritage and Hendersonville, and four tears of corporate experience at Dell Inc. where she also went to school and obtained her masters during that time, after the closure of White House Christian Academy.
In total, she has coached 17 years, with 16 of those in basketball.
“I was at WHCA when (White House head boys coach) Caleb Cook was at Christian Community School, and I look forward to working together at White House and help both programs succeed,” she said. “The administration and staff have reached out to me asking how they can be of help and been so supportive. I feel a sense of community at the school already.”
Palmiter met with the returning team members on Friday during fourth block, which is an athletics block for girls basketball at White House High School.
“”We looked at a number of potential candidates, and Terri Palmiter is everything we were looking for. She demands toughness, integrity, and hard work from all her players, but she also does what’s best for the kids,” said Kyle Gilliland, assistant principal at White House. “We are so excited to watch her work with our student-athletes and grow the White House High School Lady Blue Devils.”
THE DEVILS AND THE DETAILS
White House finished fourth in the final season of District 9-AA, hosting a district tournament home game and defeating White House Heritage in the first round in overtime before eventually falling to East Nashville in the region round of eight. White House had its best season in nearly 15 years with a 15-15 mark overall, and two wins over White House Heritage and a win over Cheatham County.
In 2021-22, things change as White House moves into a new district with the realignment of the TSSAA in basketball, softball and baseball. In the new four-classification system (instead of three), White House will be in District 9-AAA and play Greenbrier, Creek Wood, Montgomery Central and Portland.
Gone from the district schedule are Sycamore, Cheatham County, Harpeth, Westmoreland and White House Heritage.
The Lady Devils are losing six seniors, including two starters, but return rising senior starters Faithe Johnstone and Chloe Hart, and standout upcoming sophomore post Marley Hyde.
Hart averaged 6.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and was an All-District 9-AA selection in basketball and softball as a junior.
Johnstone averaged 5.2 points and 3.4 rebounds for the Lady Devils, while Hyde started the majority of the season as a freshman and was the team’s second-leading scorer at 7.0 points per game. Hyde led the team in rebounding at 5.4 per game, steals at 2.3 and blocks at almost one per game. Hyde is three-sport starter, playing soccer and finishing in the sectional round of track and field in the high jump.
The Lady Devils return a blue of the younger roster including rising junior guards Carmen Perkins, Abigail Bradley and Sydney Richardson, who all play soccer as well.
THE PHILOSOPHY GOING FORWARD
The Lady Devils will have summer work and then prepare for official practices prior to the start of the season in November. For Palmiter, there are learning curves to knowing the players and learning a new school at White House, but her philosophies are based in a system she believes is tremendously successful for basketball.
“Pat Summitt (legendary Tennessee Lady Vols coach) was me hero, so I follow her definite dozen system for success,” Palmiter said. “I truly believe that student athletes want structure, high expectations and to be held accountable. First and foremost, we represent White House when we wear the uniforms and school attire, and we no longer represent just ourselves. So we will represent ourselves with class and respect.”
Team philosophies are important, but she wants to take it a step higher.
“I truly believe defense, rebounding and free throws win championships,” she said. “Offense is a key part of it, but you can create a lot of offense from your defense. But I want others to look at our program with respect and for our girls build life long relationships.
“My ultimate desire is to see the girls’ dreams come true and create a passion in them for the game, but more importantly to strive for excellence in everything they do. It’s truly not about me, but my mentoring them to achieve lifelong success as my coaches and my mentors have done for me.”
New Region 5-AAA