AUGUSTA, Maine — Katie Clark Herbine and Karen Sirois Magnusson have much in common.
Both were high school basketball stars — Herbine at Bangor and Magnusson at Cony of Augusta — who went on to play in college.
Herbine, who played at the University of Maine, was an assistant coach at the University of Maine at Farmington while Magnusson was on coach Jamie Beaudoin’s club during the mid-2000s.
Now both are not only head coaches at their respective high school alma maters, but also squared off Friday night when Bangor beat Cony 57-43 in the Eastern Maine Class A championship at the Augusta Civic Center.
Perhaps most special in the long-term futures of their respective families, each also is pregnant with her first child. Herbine is expecting a boy in late June and Magnusson is due to have a son in early August.
There are no organized records in such categories, but it may be the first time two pregnant head coaches have matched wits in an Eastern Maine championship game.
“[Mount Ararat of Topsham coach] Kelly LaFountain emailed me and said that first it’s great to see women coaching against each other in the Eastern Maine final and then to have it also be two soon-to-be moms coaching is even better,” Magnusson said.
Both Magnusson and Herbine said their pregnancies have had little effect on how they’ve coached this season.
“I don’t think I really notice,” said Herbine, now in her third year as Bangor’s head coach. “It doesn’t faze me in the heat of the battle. I have to think a little more about when I rest just to make sure I’m ready to go so I can bring the energy that I need to bring to this team.”
Magnusson, a fourth-grade teacher in Winthrop and Cony’s fifth-year head coach, similarly has had to plan ahead to make sure she’s well-rested for practices and games — which early in her pregnancy proved to be a daunting task.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily affected me coaching-wise during games, but it’s certainly affected me after games, and my weekends are huge for me so I can sleep and catch up on my rest,” she said. “My husband was wondering if all I did was eat, sleep and coach because I would take two or three naps on a Saturday or a Sunday because I was just so spent. But that was my chance to catch up so I could get enough rest to go through the next week.
“My first trimester I would get really exhausted, but these last three weeks have been fantastic. I feel back to myself in that I have all this energy and I’m not totally spent after a game or practices.”
Herbine is far enough along in her pregnancy to feel her baby kicking at all hours of the day — including game time.
“I have a lot of movement,” she said. “I’ve had the major 3-D scan and the baby’s kicking constantly and you can actually feel the baby kick.
“Apparently he can hear sounds, too, and they’re muffled, but he’s going to think he’s coming into the world’s worst situation with his yelling mother out there coaching, but it’s pretty fun and pretty cool to go through the process for the first time with this team.”
An added bonus of this particular experience of pending motherhood for both Magnusson and Herbine: the opportunity to serve as a role model.
“I think it’s cool for the girls on both Karen’s team and my team to see these two women who are going to be mothers can also coach and they’re doing it while they’re pregnant,” said Herbine. “I think that’s cool.”