Wahluke Eagles

This blog describes the joys of coaching an AAU basketball team from Mattawa, WA. Our team and town is roughly 90% Mexican. The blog celebrates and describes life in a central Washington town through the eyes of the players and their coaches.

Location: Mattawa, Washington, United States

I work as a School Psychologist in the Wahluke School District. When I am not coaching I enjoy fishing, reading, and riding my bike.

30 January, 2006

A Tough Game

For the first time in over thirteen months, the Wahluke Eagles lost a game against a tough opponent. We played the East Valley Mules, the top-ranked team in the AAU league and just fell short. The final score was East Valley 39- Wahluke 23.

As the game slipped away in the third quarter, some boys were quite upset. Oscar, who played the whole game, was crying. He had hit the floor hard during a couple of scuffles for the ball, he was frustrated from being tripled-teamed, and just didn't want to loose. The players on the bench were telling me that he was crying and that I should take him out. Mr. Martinez and I called him over to the sideline and asked if he wanted out. He said no. Like a good captain with a dose of British phlegm, he went down with the ship, fighting till the end.

The boys played well but our defense was haphazard, our ball control off, and our shot selection lacking. Several times we got a steal, took the ball down court, and instead of working the system, one of the boys threw up a shot that missed. Also we allowed Oscar to get trapped and failed to capitalize on it by making a quick pass and an accurate shot.

After the game, we called a team meeting in the hallway of East Valley Middle School. With the boys slumped against the lockers, some of them crying, and all looking dejected, I gave them the speech that I hadn't had to give for over a year. I reminded them that they played hard and that they never gave-up even when things looked grim. Mr. Martinez reminded them that even though it hurts, they had to use this experience to help them get better. Lastly we told them that they had nothing to be ashamed of and that we should leave the court with our head held high.


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