Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Girls High School Sports

I just now saw something on the TV news that brought back memories of a “pet peeve” of mine: High School girls basketball players, under the basket, receiving a pass for a lay-up, then dropping the ball for a “dribble”, before trying to shoot a basket. I want to yell out: “Just shoot, for cryin’ out loud! Why let the other team kill your shot somewhere between the dribble and the basket?”

Am I an “old fogey”, or what?

My “peeve” goes back about 10 years, when Jean and I followed the girls basketball games at Southeastern High School, where our granddaughter Jodi played. I have to say right away that this is NOT a criticism of Jodi. Far from it. She was a “point guard”, not under the basket. So, she would seldom get this shot.

Is this a valid criticism of these girls (same today as 10 years ago) from an 84 year old Grandpa? Probably no basketball training at all, except in High School over 50 years ago, and even then, thrown off the Team for smoking?

This brings out the statement often proffered, that you can’t criticize unless you are a “professional” in that field. Hogwash!

Back 10 years ago, Kirk Martin was the Southeastern High School Girls Basketball Coach. Kirk took those girls to the State at least twice, and WON State one time. The second string girls were coached by “Bodey” Lightle - NOW the Varsity Girls Coach. I never asked either of them about my “peeve”, thinking that it was none of my business. Of course it wasn’t, and STILL isn’t. But, does that stop me from criticizing? Of course not! I’m probably wrong, but I’ll bet each of those guys just “cringed” if they ever saw one of their players dribble instead of shoot.

In writing this posting, I was TEMPTED to call either or both Kirk or Bodey for a comment on this subject. I even got out the Telephone book. But, better sense told me not to. Kirk is now the successful Womens Basketball Coach of Cedarville University, and Bodey, as mentioned, is the Varsity Coach of girls at Southeastern- also successful.

“So Mike, since you are NOT a professional, and ARE ‘an old fogey’, what makes you think that anyone is interested in what you say - either for or against anything?”

I’ve thought about that.

The same could be said for all of the previous 45 postings I’ve put on this “blog” since the first of last November. Since I’m not a professional writer, or reporter, what right do I have to write these things?

Answer: “Only that some people keep telling me that they read this stuff.”

I don’t have ANY authority on the Internet, paper, TV or anything. Since John and Tonya got me started on this venture last November, all I do is write my thoughts. From my experience. And my “experience” tells me that if a girl gets the basketball while standing “under” the basket, she should just “shoot the ball” while it’s still out of reach of the defenders, RATHER THAN, put the ball on the floor, THEN bring it up to shoot (if the other team permits it.)

Having gotten THAT off my chest, let me ramble a bit about the JOY that Jean and I got by going to the Southeastern High School basketball games, football games and soccer games. Jodi played basketball and soccer. We went to every game. Kelly was Cheer Leader for both Football and Basketball. We went to every game.

I just now remember a time when there was a basketball tournament that our girls played at Northeastern High School, 10 or more years ago. It seems to me that the game was over a holiday weekend, and even on a Saturday. For some reason, the Cheerleaders weren’t scheduled to perform for that game, so when the excitement seemed to “lull”, I got out of my seat, went down on the floor, and LED the cheers. I remembered some of them from attending so many games. Everyone laughed. Of course, I was then 74 years old. I whistled with my fingers in my mouth, and the sound would “raise the dead”, as we say.

We went to all of the games, because our two granddaughters were either playing or cheering. It made no difference to us. We were “rooting” for our girls!

I remember that Kelly’s boyfriend - now husband, Ben Farmer - was the place kicker on the High School Football Team, as well as playing other positions. We rooted for him too.

Jodi also played soccer - a grueling, tiring game if there ever was one. It seems to me that they played 45 minutes straight for the first half, then after a break, played another half the same length. We went to ALL of the games - rain or shine. And, it DID rain some at the games.

These provide fond memories of those days, when both my wife Jean, and our daughter Martha, were still living. Martha went to be with the Lord on October 7, 2001, at the age of 47. Jean joined her at the feet of Jesus on October 19, 2008, at age 85. We had been married 65 years, 6 months, and 21 days. Praise the Lord! The memories are somewhat sad, yet joyful just thinking of the good times we had then.

Back in our High School days, Jean played Girls Basketball also. It was different then. Real competitive girls basketball hadn’t yet arrived. There were 6 girls on each team, with offense on one end of the floor, and defense on the other. The girls couldn’t cross the center line - from offense to defense. There were good players then too, but the play wasn’t as aggressive as today’s girls play. Seemed rather bland to us guys.

Well, I guess I’ve “gabbed” enough on this subject. Thanks for reading - all 3 of you!

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