Senior night at Spanish Springs tonight will be a bit more emotional than usual for Christine Eckles.
It will be Eckles' final home game after 11 seasons as head of the girls basketball program. She announced earlier this week she will step down at the end of the season.
"There are multiple reasons why but really it's just time," said Eckles, who helped open Spanish Springs in 2001 and is the second-longest tenured girls coach in the Division I North behind Douglas' Werner Christian.
Eckles owns a 159-137 record at Spanish Springs, but since the 2006-07 season the Cougars are 122-72, including 20-6 this year. The Cougars are without a losing season since Eckles returned in 2006 following a one-year hiatus after the birth of her first child.
Spanish Springs will be the No. 3 seed out of the High Desert in next week's Division I North region tournament.
"Coaching was such an important thing in my life," Eckles said. "Coaches made such an impact on my life ... I felt that responsibility as a coach.
"I was not only teaching basketball but giving life skills, too. Hopefully, I had a positive impact on a lot of kids' lives."
Eckles, a three-time High Desert coach of the year, started her coaching career with the freshmen and then junior varsity teams at Reed, her alma mater, followed by two seasons as Sparks High's varsity coach before Spanish Springs opened.