Posted tagged ‘basketball tournament’

The End Of A Season

February 24, 2019

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                February 24, 2019

                                  

Our hope was to make it into March, but the final scoreboard tally cut those aspirations down. Tears exploded from the eyes of a few of the young men and others stood silently, unsure of the moment and what was to happen next.

Our high school team, The Classical Academy Titans, better known as TCA, had just lost our second round game to Greeley Central, 54-49. It was a battle, filled with moments of patient offense, great shooting, and clutch free throws. 

And then it was over! The excitement and adrenalin rush nosedived into a sudden landing. Monday’s practice plan was no longer relevant. The team’s one senior had just barely missed his last three point attempt that could have taken the game down to a one possession difference. He didn’t want to close the book on his high school basketball days, but an appointment to the Air Force Academy is in front of him.

In sports everyone loses…at one time or another! It’s harsh, and yet part of the maturing process. This team did it’s share of winning, 17 wins and 7 defeats for a team that only had two players returning with varsity experience. And yet, the last game, played before a great home crowd, will stand out in the minds of these boys.

The head coach- a man who was my son’s high school JV coach twenty years ago- broke down in tears in the locker room as he talked to his players. He had loved them, yelled at them, applauded them, gotten right in their faces, and embraced them at the end of each practice. 

The first games of the high school basketball season usually happen around December 1, with the last games in late February or early March, but high school basketball is really almost year-round. TCA will take the next six weeks off and then begin open gyms again in April. Then we usually take August off and get back into it once September rolls around. Our off-season will include strength and conditioning, summer camps and tournaments, and more individualized training from the coaches. In other words, it’s very demanding of time and energy. 

That makes the final defeat of the season that much more emotional. It signals the end of a journey whose goal has always been to end the season with a victory. Of course, only one team out of 68 in our 4A Class can accomplish that goal!

Today 12 boys and 4 coaches are grieving a little bit, and yet the coaches are proud of what those 12 boys became. The players replayed missed shots and lost opportunities in their minds as they tossed and turned in their beds last night. The coaches thought about all the games during the season that the team went in as the underdogs and came out as the winners.

Two weeks from today we’ll gather for our team banquet. The wounds from the last defeat will have scabbed over some and we’ll celebrate. There will be laughter and applause, hugs and hand shakes. And these boys will remember that they were a part of the best basketball team in the school’s 25 year history…until next year’s team breaks that record!

Church Mascots

March 19, 2014

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                   March 19, 2014

 

                                      

 

March Madness is one of the best times of the year. I am justifiably biased in that opinion, being born ten miles from Lexington, Kentucky and growing up listening to Cawood Ledford broadcasting UK basketball games on the radio.

One of the lesser highlights of March Madness is discovering some new mascots of some of the lesser known universities that get invited to the NCAA tournament. Such as “The Great Danes of University of Albany”, or “The Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina.”

Although not in the tournament, I have a UC- Santa Cruz tee shirt with their mascot on the front, the banana slug. The Banana Slug, also known as Sammy Slug, was voted as the school mascot in 1981 when the institution started offering intercollegiate athletics. The school chancellor supported the sea lion as the mascot, but a student referendum brought the mascot name up for a vote and banana slug won.

Mascots are interesting, but sometimes the history behind the mascot is even more interesting. For instance, the James Madison University “Dukes”, whose mascot is “Duke Dog”, a gray bulldog who wears a cape and crown. The history behind the mascot name, however, is that Samuel Page Duke was the school’s second president…which makes it interesting to be a member of the women’s basketball team…”the Lady Dukes.”

In thinking of mascots, however, it got me pondering the idea of church mascots to mark pivotal points in different congregations’ histories. It might create some March momentum heading towards Easter, the church equivalent of Final Four Weekend.

How about “The 95’s from Grace Lutheran Church?” Or perhaps a more battle-ready name, “The Nailin’ Theses” of GLC!

I like the ring of “The Splittin’ Charismatics of New Wine Fellowship Church!”

Here’s a few others I think would increase attendance:

*The Fighting Deacons from Community of Joy Baptist Church

*The Glutanteers of Faith-Full Gospel Chapel

*Wine and Cheese Fanatics from Unity Tabernacle

*The Truth-Slugs of First Institutional Baptist

*The Three-P’s (not to be confused with “three peat”) of Trinity Presbyterian Church, who are firmly anchored to every Sunday mesage having three points and a poem.

*The Dunkin’ Donuts of Weigh-side Free Methodist

 

Perhaps you can think of others to join the list. Maybe your church should come up with a mascot…”King Jamers” could become “King Jammers”…just think of the possibilities! Churches that now stand lifeless and unnoticed on street corners could suddenly draw attention to themselves as a logo with an intense looking preacher with flames coming out of his backside gets attached to the outside church sign.

New outreach possibilities are now coming to my mind. I’m seeing things now, imagining things.

Some would say I’m too much into March Madness!