…..starting at 7:45 and ending at 2:15
The girls all arrived on time for our last practice before the tournament today.
Practice was grim. Everything we taught the girls seemed to go out the window this morning. The adults in the crowd just shook their heads.
After our 30 minute warm-up, the girls put on their numbered jerseys, grabbed their coats, snacks, water and lunches and boarded one of two cars that transported them to our destination.
The school that hosted the tournament only had one gym which also doubles as the school lunchroom. Ten games, back to back, were scheduled for the day with 45 minutes off for lunch. We knew we were in trouble when our first game was delayed by 40 minutes. Luckily for us it didn’t affect the outcome of the game. The girls looked good and played well. They won with a score of 28 to 8.
We then had to sit out and watch two games before our next match. The delay with the first game threw the schedule off considerably so when it was our turn to play again the school lunch hour was about to begin and all the teams had to go to the library and wait until the lunch hour was over. Unfortunately that meant we had to play two games back to back with no break in-between.
We looked at rearranging the schedule but nothing worked so we agreed to shorten each half to 10 minutes and follow the schedule as it was originally set up. Our next game was against the school that we knew would give us our biggest challenge. It started out okay but as soon as the other team started to pull ahead the girls fell apart and we lost by a considerable margin.
Luckily the next two games went in our favour. In the end we finished close to the time that was originally scheduled and we won three out of our four games. We had to leave before the other teams finished playing but I’m pretty sure we came in second place. Not bad after the sorry practice we had in the morning.
No one was sure how many teams move on to the semi-finals but if it is only the first place team then we’re done for the season. I should know by tomorrow or on Monday at the latest.
The one good thing about coaching girls is that if they lose they always see the bright side. They didn’t focus on the one game they lost, rather they were proud of the three that they won. They were so eager that they were prepared to come to another practice tomorrow morning without even knowing if they move on or not. I needed a break so I begged them not to come tomorrow morning.
Thanks to the parents for their support and my fellow coaches for coming out to all the morning practices. One of my colleagues helped me with the coaching and two student teachers volunteered their time. It was great having so much help and input from these wonderful people. A special thanks to Mr. S who accompanied us to the game today and gave the girls a lot of moral support and great advice during the games. I loved his running commentary throughout the matches. He kept me smiling all day long.