Once upon a time I was a high school basketball player. I was also a cellist, the high school newspaper editor, a member of the choir, a student body officer, a sterling scholar and a runner- and yep I even threw the javelin on the track team. But best of all, I dated the senior class president and one of the top runners in the state of Utah (we were married three years after graduation). He is a pretty amazing guy. I had a pretty terrific high school experience.
But that was back in the days when girls’ athletics were just taking a stronghold. In fact, my senior year marked the first year that the girls were given equal opportunity in the realm of athletics. The previous years we practiced and played at the middle school. As a senior, we were allowed to practice and play in the main gym at our high school. At the beginning of my senior basketball season, our team was ranked 6th in the state in our division. We won a berth to the state play offs that year. That was the first year in a very long time the Lady Reds made it to the state tournament. To say we were excited was an understatement. I guess you could say Lori, Liz, Michelle, Danelle, Nancy and I were trail blazers so to speak.
This year my nieces from my alma mater placed first in their region sending them to the state tournament. They led the team in scoring- the twin towers of the basketball court. I was so excited for them. Dream and Japrix are much better than I was, but they had reaped the rewards of what our team sowed 25 years ago. There are so many more opportunities available to girls in athletics now. We were the beginning!
Our daughter Emma’s basketball team went undefeated this year and went all the way at the tournament this past weekend. They brought home the trophy and the title- a repeat of last season.
I love watching these girls play ball. They have learned to play as a team, execute plays, run a press offense and defense, and their individual and team defense is a complete turnaround from last season. They will definitely be worth watching at the high school level.
My amazing Rigby (yep my boyfriend high school) has coached them the past two seasons. As we have three older sons than Emma, this has been his first experience coaching girls- I think he really likes it. And they seem to respond well to him.
Life has a way of taking detours and pit stops. I have learned that in my 25 years of life since high school, but I will always be grateful for those high school experiences I was granted that molded me, shaped me and helped me to grow. It wasn’t a “bowl of cherries” every day. There was drama, disappointments, and plenty of discouragement, but man am I grateful I for the “ride!”