A season ends
We are approaching the final week of the 2013-14 high school basketball season. By now, most teams have completed their seasons…and only 16 teams (8 boys and 8 girls) in each classification have survived the substate games to make it to the state contests next week.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, all of our teams have completed their games for the season. For those, like us, who don’t get to fully complete the season, Monday will be a little bit of a shock. People who live and breathe basketball will find the gyms empty, replaced with athletes busy on ball diamonds, soccer fields, tracks, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Most athletes will get their chance to play competitive basketball again (because they are juniors, sophomores or freshmen). However, for the seniors, their last time putting on the Spartan uniform may be the last time they ever get to play the game. This season was, for me, a little different as I watched our three girls senior players play their last game tonight. All of these three seniors were members of the very first JV volleyball team I coached. Something happens when you coach someone. You get to know a little more about them than the average student. You learn what motivates them, what aggravates them, what drives them…and when that season is over…what the sport really meant to them.
The nature of the game is that most teams don’t get to finish their seasons with wins. In Kansas, there are two teams in each class that get to end with a win…the state champions and the team that takes third. So, as that final buzzer sounds in the final game of the year (whenever that happens to be) the reality and finality truly sets in. How will they remember their years playing? What memories will they take with them? For Emporia High this year, there were many memories they can take with them. They were Glacier’s Edge champions in what many were saying at the beginning of the year was a “rebuilding season.” They worked with a new head coach and showed that they could really come together as a team to take on some of the tough teams in the state. They had thrilling overtime victories and disappointing overtime defeats. But, most of all, they were teammates – something they will never forget.