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.

28 October, 2006

Making A Statement

The Wahluke Eagles began the season with a Saturday morning tip off against the Union Gap Lil Cubs. Coaches, veteran players, and rookies met at the 76 station at 0815 eager to depart to the big city. With more excitement that butterflies we left Mattawa and drove gingerly through a dense fog along the river until we climb the Vernita bluff and hit the high country.

We arrived at Union Gap with not much time to spare and announced the starting line-up. Gabino (Pickles) and Chris (Alien) started at Point Guard, Cristian (Me Duele) and Alan (Big Daddy) started as Forwards, and Dario (The Beast from the East) started off at Center. Typically we started slow and after a few minutes it was a 2-2 tie. Jose E (My Bad) went in for a bit at Forward as he earned it by working hard at practices since June. Then we made the shift. We put Oscar and Gabino at Point Guards, Tony and Alan at Forward, and retained Big D at Center.

Those five played well and got us a ten point lead. From then on we could substitute Chris, Eduardo, Librado, Salvador, and the others without loosing a step. The boys all played well. They passed, moved the ball, spread the floor, and just plain hustled.

Jose made a statement when there was a loose ball on the floor. He dove, passed to Oscar who made a quick pass to Tony who made a shot. Dario too made a statement by making points off lay-ins and in bring down the boards. Chris showed his stuff as well with a quick fake and his floater from the free-throw line that finds the bottom of the net. Cristian did his part on offense and defense, Alan on the fast breaks, Laffy in his ball handling, Pickles in everything he does, and Librado and Salvador in the effort they put into their minutes. Final score Wahluke Eagles 39 and Union Gap Lil Cubs 10.

After the game we retired to Burger King for food, fun, and relaxation. Monday we practice and prepare for another tough opponent. It's nice to win but the final score isn't the measure of our success. Our goal is to play like a champion and when the final buzzer sounds walk off with our heads held high knowing we did our best, no matter the score.

08 October, 2006

Meet the Eagles

Its October and our first game is less than three weeks away. There have been several roster changes so I am taking this time to introduce the team.

Returning Veterans
Third Year Players
Oscar (catfish)is our starting Point Guard and one of the captains. He likes to fish and is very good at it. He denies that he eats worms. Remember his name.

Gabino (Pickles, Little People) is our starting Point Guard and one of the captains. He is very patient young man and a true leader. Gabino is remarkable person.

Antonio (Fruit Cup) is a Forward, Point Guard, and shooter. Tony thinks about being an NBA player or a baseball player. He hates the Yankees and likes the Red Sox especially Big Papi. Tony's two hobbies are playing his video games and chewing his finger nails.

Christopher (Alien, Pretty Ricky) is a Forward and Center. Christopher is extremely accurate at the top of the key and plays strong defense. He also plans on entering the NBA.

Melchor (Little Fingers, Munchies) is a Forward. Melchor has a good outside shot and has been known to hit a three.

Second Year Players
Alan (Big Daddy, Big Mama) is a Center and Forward. Over the course of one year Alan has developed into quite a shooter. He also helps our new players learn their positions and is a patient young man.

Caedyn (Chief Baloo) is a Forward with a great shot on the outside right. He plays aggressive defense and is unafraid. Like Alan, he has made tremendous growth over the last year.

Cristian (Me Duele, Little Tony) is a Forward and a shooter. Like Caedyn, he is fearless on defense and will even challenge Dario during a scrimmage. Cristian joined the team with desire in December and in less than one year has become one of our starters.

Eduardo (Laffy)is a Point Guard and a great player. Last week in practice Juan and I both commented how Eduardo's play developing beyond our wildest dreams. He passes, sees the court, and can drive the ball. Less than a year ago he used to quit practice and slump against the gym wall. When Juan and I spoke to him, he complained that he hated being Point Guard, that it was too hard, and that he couldn't do it. Juan and I told him to hang in there and am glad that he did.

Dario (Big D) is our Center. He joined the team at the end of the Spring season. He is over five feet tall and an extremely hard working and polite young man. He works hard on his lay-ins and is a strong defender.

New Players
Jose (My Bad, Otelo)is a Forward. When we had try-outs last June, Jose was there eager to learn. He is a good runner and works hard each practice to improve his shot. Recently he has made some hoops in practice that have impressed the team.

Librado (Rocks) also joined the team for try-outs then quit. He said it was to pick apples but his sister said that he was lazy and wanted to stay home and play video games. Librado has height and strength and is possible Forward or Center. He shows promise as a shooter and a defender.

Salvador is our newest player and had his first practice last Wednesday. He is tall, hard working, and strong. Salvador is a possible Center. He is extremely coachable and shows promise.

Jesus (Little Ricky) is our junior member. He is Forward and are only Fourth grade player. Jesus' older brother Ricky (Smokey) is a 12th grader and member of the High School team and Jesus plays just like him. Jesus has a developing shot and is tough on defense. He has been known to challenge Dario, which kind of like a mouse taking on an elephant. Having Jesus we also get Ricky who comes to practice and helps coach the team.

All the players are hard-working athletes. Juan and I look forward to this year. We want the boys to play like champions and at the end of the game to walk off the court knowing they did their best regardless of the score. We expect the players to come together as team and have the experienced players help their juniors. Lastly we demand hard work, dedication, and desire for success in school, life, and sports.