Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Brings Basketball

PIAA basketball tryouts were permitted on November 17, 2008. We had been having open gym for several weeks prior to the start date. However, many students cannot participate since they're still participating fall sports.

Our girls' hockey team won the state title for the first time in school history. The boys' football team went into the state playoffs, but failed to advance after a loss in their second round game. These extended seasons delayed the start of b-ball for many athletes.

I currently volunteer as an assistant coach at the junior high level... 7, 8, and 9 grade. Our greatest need is at the 7th grade tryouts because it gets the most student participation. This year we had 29 7th grade boys trying out and we could only keep 13 on a full roster. The top athletes tend to stand out, but then there are usually about four or more available positions that could be filled by many. We always look at a player's potential of growth, as well as, his positive attitude towards hard workouts and his teammates.

I've never spent much time with the 8th grade program these past two years, but I do help quite a bit with the 9th grade program. I sit the bench during games with the head 9th grade coach and keep stats and motivate players to do the best they can. I'll have them sit beside me and review their play. The coach and I confer constantly throughout the game over player assignments and set plays. This year's offense is quite different than last year's.

We have a new varsity coach who has instituted his style of play into the system. Our head varsity coach from last year passed away over the summer. Therefore, the boys who grew under his leadership now have to learn a whole new offense and defense. Not an easy task for these young men.

So far, our junior high program has had three opponents which translates into 9 games. We have been able to succeed in winning all 9 games. Although our 9th graders haven't had an easy time of it. They have worked hard and scratched their way to victory in each game.

Our 8th grade and 7th grade have had an easier time of it. However, we haven't met up with opponents in our own division yet. The test will be coming very soon.