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.

01 February, 2007


Well the Wahluke Eagles are on a definite loosing streak. We opened the Fall season with two consecutive losses and then dropped four straight. Last week and again the game last Saturday make it six consecutive losses as the Eagles fell to the Toppenish Wildcats 44-31.

Juan predicted this last summer as we lost three quality players for a variety of reasons and picked up several diamonds in the rough. As we mold a new team, the string of past victories have become a sweet but distant memory.

On the bright side the Eagles acquired another fourth grade stand out. Previously we picked up Grandpa Joe but lost him to babysitting and Crispito but lost him to the fourth grade team. But last summer sacramental bonds brought us Jesus (Buttercup). Jesus' older brother Ricky is my godson. Ricky is also an exceptional student athlete who plays varsity for the High School team. Their family has been very good to me for many years so last summer I invited Jesus to practice. Little did I know how fortuitous that invitation would become.

But before I continue I must explain his name. When Jesus was in second grade he missed a lot of school because he got sick. He also complained about how tough school was for him. I told him 'toughen up Buttercup' and the name stuck. Sometimes he likes the name and other times he doesn't. I offered him Pee Wee but he declined so for now it's Buttercup.

Back to the game, Well Juan and I have become stricter on choosing our starters on the basis of their effort and attitude during practice. Using that criterion, Jesus was an easy choice. Both he, Ricky, and their brother Francisco have a reputation for being great student athletes. They try hard every practice, laugh with their teammates, and listen to instructions. So Buttercup started.

This game happened to be our Winter home opener so Jesus' dad, Ricky, and younger brother came to watch. When Ricky has time, he helps us coach. His knowledge of basketball and teamwork are helpful and the players really respect him as he plays High School ball. When he comes to games, Ricky sits on the bench and when we announced the starters he was a bit surprised to see his brother start instead of some older players.

The first half of the game we played sluggish and just couldn't get a shot off. When the second half started we did as well. Despite a valiant effort including 13 points from Tony (four field goals and one free throw) we came up short. Jesus got his first point ever with a free throw. He missed the first but on the second he did his leg kick and sunk one. Chris, Dario, and Oscar all finished with four points. Alan had three and Gabino made one.

Beyond the baskets our boys showed promise. Cristian had some good looks and Chris once again hustled on defense and offense. Librado did his best and is becoming a stronger player every week. Come Spring season, Juan and I expect him to break out.

So we have another game this Saturday against a strong team. All Juan, Bethany, and I hope for is for the boys to do their best.


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