Before Spring Break was launched, the 4/5/6 grade girls’ basketball team was able to showcase their enthusiasm and joy for the game of basketball in front of a lively home crowd. The girls played sixth graders from Vanguard through an arrangement made a few years ago when the D12 Broadmoor League was cancelled. This was the final year for the arrangement as Vanguard and CSS will be in different middle school leagues next year; still, CSS fifth graders will be invited to participate with the MS teams (volleyball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and mountain biking) next year in the Black Forest League.
As with most youth programs, the focus and emphasis was on the fundamentals of the game. In the short season, the girls reinforced their dribbling skills, shooting, passing, footwork, and overall understanding of the game. Coach Caleb Strickland stated, “Chalk Talks were included in each practice to cover strategies, rules, and overall concepts, like the differences between a man and zone defense. It was rewarding to work with a group of girls who enjoyed learning every day and absolutely loved just playing the game.”
“Impacting young athletes is why I love coaching, ” added Coach Vicki Vaughan. “My heart smiles when I witness the pure joy from playing sports and how it enhances a young person’s life. I think with this team, especially, I had a “perma-smile” at every practice and throughout the games. They were having a blast and it showed–they even enjoyed it when we made them run for missed shots in practice. I look forward to seeing how these girls harness this enthusiasm for basketball as they are surely the future of Kodiak athletics.”
Sarina M. ’20, a captain on the US basketball team this year who has been playing since 4th grade, concluded, “I think watching the younger girls play is something really special for me. Even though I am graduating, it excites me to see what the future of our program is going to look like. I think watching also reminds me of why I play basketball. It’s simple–we play to have fun. We have fun within the game and with teammates, and I think that is a good reminder for us as the stakes are higher and the pressure increases as we become older.”
Stay tuned for a photo gallery of more images from Vaughan & Walker Photography.