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Trotter’s insight bests adversity with heart

CROSBY – The success of the Lady Cougars Basketball Team is definitely related to the determination of their Coach, Michelle Trotter.

An interview with Michelle Trotter this reporter learned not only of her values, heart condition but gained insight into what makes a winning coach. You can see an extreme determination on her face as she directs the Lady Cougars in competition.

“I’m tough but they know I love them. I’ll get on them and as soon as practice is over I will call them in and tell them how much I care about them. I want the change to occur because I know they can get better. I think that determination you see from me sometimes is because I care about them.” she said to questions about her rapport on the basketball court. “I think a lot of what we have been able to do, and me being able to tell them what I do is because I developed a relationship with them over the last two years.”

Beginning with the discovery that she has a heart condition, adversity has been a series of constant hurtles. “I passed out playing sports in high school. Again when I was in college I passed out a couple of times and became very ill after giving blood. So, my mom and I decided to go to a doctor get it checked out. The M.D. listened and happened to hear the murmur. He sent me to the cardiologist to get a echocardiogram done. Once they discovered it the cardiologist was very surprised to hear that I had played basketball, softball and ran track because it was significantly enlarged.”

I asked Coach Trotter about getting first time athletes to have an EKG.

“I would be in support of that because when I was in high school if I had an E.K.G it would have indicated that there was something going on. The enlarged aortic root is what caused the problem but being left untreated it destroyed by aortic valve. I’m pretty sure that an E.K.G would have help find that pretty early on. And, I am pretty suer that the several times I passed out between my sophomore and senior year and E.K.G. probably would have figured that out.

I asked Scott Stephens, founder of the Cody Stephens Go Big Or Go Home Foundation about Coach Trotter he responded, “First let me say congratulations to the Lady Cougars. What you’ve accomplished will go with you throughout your lives. The lessons you’ve learned by watching your coach be resilient may never be matched again in your lives. Coach Trotter, thank you for sharing your story with us. It drives home the point that heart issues can happen to anyone, even seemly heathy individuals at the top of their game. I’m so glad you got the help you needed and wish you a long healthy life.

As we know, many don’t get that chance. Many students are struck down before they have a chance at life. Sudden cardiac arrest is the #1 medical cause of death in our student athletes. We can prevent many of these deaths by adding a simple electrocardiograph to our sports physicals. I’m thankful Crosby has this program in place now, and hope one day all student athletes in the great state of Texas will get this option. Coach Trotter, keep winning. But regardless of the scoreboard, you’re an amazing person, whom Crosby is indebted to. Go big or go home time Lady Cougars and Coach Trotter. I’m very proud of you and the lessons you are teaching us. ‘Screen em all!’”

Back with Coach Trotter asking general questions about the group she is coaching now, “You know one of the signs that I put up when I first got here says ‘Control the things that you can control.’ I’m looking for a heart, defense is key for me that is a sign that a player is prepared to work and be very tenacious. This year we have been able to mix it up. Over the last three years we have been able to mix it up but defense is key to us. I look for a kid that wants to play defense. If you just want to be about