Wednesday, January 17, 2007
A Season Ends
Tonight, I cried. I have never cried at the end of a game before. I have never had the need. There was always that lingering wishfulness, but never tears. Tonight, I watched a group of young women who had grown so much over a season. They played their best. Better that any other time I've coached them. They were determined. My two starting guards were injured. One had a hip injury, the other an ankle. The third guard (who had to come off the bench after receiving a varsity starting position) had a deep thigh bruise. All three begged me to play and I let them. Even injured, we played with the number one seed in the tournament until the end. At the end, we were to tired, the pain had kicked in and fight began to waiver. I paced the sidelines watching the clock. At 2:00 to play, I stopped barking orders. There was no more yelling. The bench went silent. We were only down ten, but I looked in the faces of the squad at the timeout and I just knew they had nothing left to give. When the buzzer sounded and they shook hands and walked off the court. I looked back onto the gym floor. It wasn't the loss that saddened me, I've lost before and by much more than 12. I was saddened because this group of jovial, questioning, enlightening teenagers, who had worked so hard at the end of the season, saw their hopes of a championship trophy dashed that night. The next game would have been that coveted championship. I wanted it so bad for them. So I cried. For most of them, there will be no next year. Some will move up to Varsity and some will fall by the wayside. They will forever be my squad. My first JV team. The most dedicated group of girls, I've yet to have had the pleasure of coaching.