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.

18 November, 2007

A few thoughts

Right- Three players watching a movie
Coaching the Eagles isn't a sure fire to make money. In fact it costs quite a bit and offers few financial benefits save a free meal and Burger King for two coaches, the third has to pay. If one looks beyond the material , then coaching is the best thing I do.

Bethany, Juan, and I get the chance to spend time with some fantastic young men who face challenges, dream big, and live in a world that doesn't appreciate their presence in our country. Most of our boys have papers, some of their parents don't, and each day that elephant in room stands there forgotten is the midst of the daily grind but never ignored. One newspaper article or rumour is all that's needed to cause tension and fear. The boys go to school and the parents work and through it all the elephant remains silent but real.

Coaching allows Bethany, Juan, and I the opportunity to get the know the boys outside of school. We see them at practices, drive them to games, share meals after games, and also interact with them in social settings. We've had team functions at the school, in Juan's house, and mine. And in those informal settings we see some special things.

The players demonstrate the care for one another by their generosity. If any player is short at Burger King, he rarely asks the coaches as his teammates supply what he needs. And if one player buys a desert, often times he shares it with one or two friends. After games, we'll stop to buy gas and sometimes the boys buys chips or snacks for the ride home. If a player doesn't have any money, he need not worry everyone in car shares what they have.

And being boys they express themselves by joking around. At times Jesus takes a bit of verbal jesting, just ask him about Mr. Jiggles and Squinty the Pirate. Before that it was Cristian and his soft spoken voice. Other times it's Alan and his alleged playing with his sister's toys.

Being boys too they show their colours by hitting each other, a lot. There is no bullying or singling anyone out, the coaches keep a close eye on that. It is just boys being boys by trying out the moves they see on WWE and doing tag team matches on the carpet. Or when the weather permits by playing tackle football and watching Jesus spring at Alan's neck like a terrier on speed. Everyone laughs and when one players wants to quit his friends respect his neutrality until he looses his noncombatant status by launching a surprise attack.

We enjoy our players' company. We share their dreams of making it big and support them all we can. And it pays rich dividends when you see them grow by sharing what they have, watching them support each other at school, see them take responsibility for their studies, and through it all watch the boy learning how to be a man.



Blogger CB said...


Well said! You articulate a Catholic & Lasallian approach as to how sports can form a child into practicing the Gospel values.

November 20, 2007  
Anonymous Krystyn said...

People should read this.

November 10, 2008  

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