My middle school girls' team lost in the finals of the St. Marks' Episcopal Tournament this afternoon. The team that beat us today by ten points beat us by almost thirty nine days ago so we have made great progress. It's been a long stretch for the kids. We have played four games in five days- all on the road- and we play again on Monday, once more away from the friendly confines of WCS. This is a great bunch of kids. The squad we played today is predominantly eighth graders and the kids in our rotation are mostly sixth and seventh graders. Most of the schools we play only go through junior high. I was talking to the opposing coach today and he spoke of the need to win in their situation, where there is no next step in the program. We, instead, have the luxury of working to get the kids ready to play in our high school system and so, teaching to improve. My student assistant, Devin, played 7th-8th grade basketball at a nearby private middle school and she told me they often talked about the importance of winning. We rarely bring the subject up. I know the girls like to win but we stress that if we do things the right way, that part of the game will take care of itself. This week, we took a big step in that direction.
A side note: The picture was taken by Roxana Ramirez, last year's Westbury Christian Homecoming Queen and a former player of mine in 8th grade. Roxana is the aunt of Ruby (holding the trophy) and Lizeth (#30.) Roxana was the best listener I have ever coached....and a pretty decent photographer!
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