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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Girls’ basketball: strong team bond beneficial for play on court

History teacher Mike Davey has coached basketball for more than 20 years at the school. For the first 14 years, he coached the boys’ team. Since then, he has coached the girls’ team.

The main difference Davey has noticed between the two teams is the girls’ unique dynamic revolving around the idea of teamwork. As a result, Davey and the team have instituted rituals that foster connections, including annual breakfasts and alumni games.

These team bonding events not only build the players’ relationships with each other, but they also are important on the court.

“If one person doesn't work hard, then the other four people are left out so you have to be able to sacrifice and subordinate your own interests for the whole team,” Davey said.  “If the team successfully does that, [then they] can come close to each other.”

Besides the breakfast and alumni game, the team has an annual event called Midnight Madness. Midnight Madness occurs during winter break. The team scrimmages in the Large Gym and has some pizza afterward with family members.

One of the biggest events that enhances the close bond between teammates is the summer tournament in Sonora. The team drives to Lake Pinecrest where they venture out into the camp for five to six hours to explore and have fun. The team also plays 12 basketball games in three days.

This arduous yet memorable trip gives the girls on the team a chance to get to know each other before the school season starts.

“By the end of the week we know each other a little too well,” junior point guard Nicole Prowse said. “Another part I like, is when we go up to the lake for a day and just get to relax. Every year we go kayaking and it is so much fun to paddle out and eat lunch.”

Davey, however, does feel that having such a close bond can sometimes cause personal problems to interfere with practice and the relationships on the court. This year he feels this problem won’t be as prominent since players get along well.

Davey’s favorite parts about coaching such a strong and well-rounded team is the adrenaline rush he gets when there is a close game and the preparation he puts into making sure that the team has a common goal and is set on the importance of teamwork.

Davey also acknowledges the enormous time commitment the sport entails. The team has off-season conditioning practices in the weight room as well as 182 hours of practice, games and conditioning during the season. Yet, Davey sees these numbers as proof that teammates need to support each other.

“It’s a big commitment, so it’s very significant and that’s why, again, the group is doing [the sport] together, which means that it’s very important,” Davey said.

Davey also sees the time these girls spend together as beneficial in the long run and building blocks into what will serve as lifelong memories.

“Winning is huge, but these girls are friends with each other for life,” Davey said.

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