I am guilty of it just like everyone else. You watch a game and you are ready to make predictions with the same certainty of the sports show hosts. "No way are we going to win a game this year!" "Get to the store and buy the champagne, we are destined for a championship!" There is no sport at OES that has to deal with immediate responses more than basketball. No one watches the first cross country meet and declares that this squad will not get faster! I have never heard a tennis parent make declarations in March before Coach Davis or Coach Collie can work their magic. But basketball is a little different. There is no sport that allows the fan in as much. We almost sit on the bench with the team. The players are feet away and we can see every grimace, smile, or cold stare. We can transcribe what the coaches say in the huddle. It is also a really simple game, right?
Not at all. As I walk around SPARC or the gym I am reminded on a daily basis how much work the student-athletes put in. It doesn't matter if it is 6th grade girls or Varsity boys. The coaches continue to teach knowing that the best way for someone to grow as a player is to fail first. It is no different in math class. I sometimes imagine the parents sitting in the bleachers with Karen Seder or Gabe Edge teaching their children in front of them. "What is she doing calling on Billy? There is no way he is ready to answer this question!" It doesn't matter that Billy's parents are close enough to hear. "Why would Susie give Jill the white board pen instead of writing the answer herself?!" We need this answer!"
I remember our MS boys B coach, Ray Kellstrom drawing up the end of the game play during a timeout. OES was down 1. The team broke the huddle and the four boys hustled to their spots on the floor with purpose and focus. The boy who was passing the ball inbounds received it from the referee. He slapped the ball and yelled, "Break!" just like Ray told him. The other four boys orchestrated the play perfectly. And then the young man holding the ball passed it directly to the other team. Ray had the opportunity a week later to do the same thing. Again he gave the same young man the job of passing the ball inbounds. Again, the same thing happened. I walked over to Ray after the game and told him how much I appreciated how he handled the situation. "Ray, that young man may never get that chance again to be responsible for a big play. Thanks for giving him another chance." Ray looked at me and said, "Oh, he is going to get another chance." For the final game of the year the hoopster made the correct pass and the boys won.
I hope everyone makes it to a game early in the season. I wish every teacher got to see the first game of their advisee. So often we catch the final game or senior night. But when you get to watch the first one and then you continue with the team, you see the growth. It doesn't mean the team always wins, because the other programs are committed to the same thing, getting better every day.
Girls Varsity remains undefeated after defeating Amity and Rainier at home. They are 5-0 and currently ranked #2 in the state. The boys suffered a tough defeat to Amity 44-42, but rebounded with a home victory over Rainier 56-48. Their record is 2-3.
We will announce All State soccer and volleyball next week!