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Falcon Feather

Coaches Look Ahead, Despite the Decreasing Numbers

Langley Milbert
8th-grade girls basketball player June Ennis, stands at the front of the line, while listening to Coach Mills, while he is giving instructions on warm-ups on October 9, 2023.

It’s fall of 2023, and there are some challenges on the basketball court with the 8th-grade basketball girls. Girls uninterested in basketball are resulting in decreasing numbers at tryouts. 

Why? Coach Mills, 8th grade A team basketball coach, talks about the other events that could lead to this decision. “Travel soccer and volleyball programs convince the girls that they must play the sport all year and cannot make time for other sports.” He also factored in that, “Girls that do not make the team in 7th grade are often not interested in trying out again in 8th grade.” 

To prove Coach Mills’s theory, we talked to 8th grader Katelyn Carlson, who played girls basketball last year. She said, “I didn’t try out this year because of volleyball training.” 

Are basketball numbers too low to be concerned about? Coach Terrell, 8th grade B team basketball coach, explains, ”I don’t think that our numbers are so low that it gives a reason to be concerned. It actually provides us as coaches the opportunity to provide more one-on-one and individual coaching to meet players where they are, and help them improve regardless of their level of experience.” 

Did girls last year like the basketball team? 8th grader Gentry Coons explains that, “We had a good group of girls. Very respectful, very nice.” 

Although the reason for a decrease in numbers is unclear, remember coach Mills once said, “I am a firm believer that basketball is great, but if you are going to play it should be fun.  This is true of any extra-curricular activity a student participates in.  We try to always make sure we are having fun at practice and at games.  Again, if it isn’t fun, why are you playing?

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