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.

Name:
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.

08 April, 2006

Teamwork

The Wahluke Eagles opened the Spring season with a convincing win over Sunnyside Christian on Saturday. The final score was 20-6 with Mattawa on top. But behind the score a story is waiting.

We were down a driver and that left nine player with spaced for eight between Mr. Martinez and my car. So with a heavy heart, I called Cristian on Friday night saying that we could not take him to the game.

Saturday morning I arrive at the gas station to learn that Freddy can't go to the game, that opens a space. I call Cristian and say get ready, luckily for us, he says okay. We pick him up and head to Sunnyside, five hours ahead of game time. We left early to scout out the Wapato Lil Cubs. They are ranked second place and we are ranked first in this league, and we want to do our best.

After we watch Wapato demolish their opponent, we have three hours to kill. Mr. Martinez is content to watch hoops, while I take kids to terrorize the local Wal-Mart. Around 1:50PM we start to warm-up against our opponents, Sunnyside Christian.

Now you have to see our team to appreciate how short we are and how tall our opponents were today. However as the kids became nervous we instructed the boys to start speaking Spanish. If the other team uses their height and uniforms to unnerve my boys, we are ready to use the tools we have to our advantage. Speaking Spanish has two purposes, the first to is make our opponents upset and the other is to connect our boys to their roots. As the debates continue, I want to make a statement. Campesinos deserve justice.

When the game began, Sunnyside struck first and lead 4-0. When Oscar attempted a good lay-in and missed, I was told that the other team and bench laughed. All I knew is that he was upset but having the heart of a champion, he didn't want to quit. Pretty soon we fought back and tied the game 4-4. Then they pulled ahead 6-4 and still had smirk until Gabino (aka Little People, Pickles, and Afro Dude) hit a three point swish. His shot silenced the other team and got us going. Sunnyside Christian finished the first quarter with six points and they did not score again.

When the second quarter began, we got into gear. Oscar and Gabino, or Tony waited for the other team to inbound the ball, then they attacked the player with zeal. They forced bad passes and intercepted them. When Sunnyside got the ball in the paint our forwards and center did their job and forced a bad shot. And even though we were shorter, our hustle lead to us getting the ball.

All the boys helped and took good shots. Christopher (aka Alien) made no points but he had several good attempts that just rimmed out. Out of eight players, six made shots. Our leading scorer was Alan who finished with six. The others were Tony (5). Oscar (4), Gabino (3), and Eduardo(2). Melchor to had some shots that fell short. At the end of the game we set up Cristian for a lay-in. Oscar passed to Tony who in turn gave Cristian a great pass, he shot but the ball just fell short. Then the whistle blew and the game was over. Cristian had a 1000 watt smile and that made it all worth while.

The boys were ecstatic and the coaches as well. We met a taller opponent and we overcame them. Our team leader encountered a hostile environment and he overcame it. We didn't have our veteran defender and Alan stepped up and did his job. And I hope that in this environment of immigration discussion, that we made a statement (in English and Spanish) namely don't underestimate us and give us a chance to succeed and perhaps you'll be surprised.

Click the link teamwork to see our standings as the season progresses.

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April 11, 2006  

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