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.

05 December, 2007

Our Boys

Above- While on a team shopping trip, two players have some fun
Coaching the Eagles is an eye opener for someone raised in a suburb of Seattle. Our players are unique. Being true sons of the border their experiences aren't typically associated with modern American youth. Take the drive to last Saturday's game.

On the way towards the interstate, we passed several apple and cherry orchards. It was snowing and quite cold. As we drove by one boy started off saying that he thinks we just passed his uncle as there were cars parked at the head of the rows of trees. Then another player shared that he worked there too in the summer picking cherries.

He recounted how when his bucket wasn't quite full one of the sympathetic checkers still gave him a ticket indicating that it was complete. Other times, he swiped cherries from a bin and topped off his bucket. Then other boys began sharing their work stories as well.

They spoke about the heat, snakes, and spiders. They recalled how early they awoke (4:00AM), how hot it got around noon (90 +), and how they felt after a day of work (tired). Then they told about how much money the made and what they spent it on. Christopher shared how half of his check and those of his siblings went to pay off the new refrigerator their family purchased. "My mom said we all use it, so we all have to help pay for it." Other shared that they used their money to buy their school uniforms or like Chris to supplement the family budget. The boys were not complaining just talking about their summer jobs.

When I think about my level of generosity at the ages of 11 or 12, I wince when I look the example of my players. Juan, Bethany, and I are proud of our boys.

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