By Tanner Smith
As William Shakespeare wrote in his famous play King Richard III, “Now is the winter of our discontent.”
The same could be applied to those wishing to see a varsity girls basketball team in 2014-2015, as the school decided to put the varsity program on a hiatus for this year. Athletic Director Eric Lawrence wishes that they could have fielded a team this year, but feels this is best for the future.
“We simply didn’t have enough upperclassmen to offer any kind of competitive team,” he said. “We want to make sure the girls have a positive experience so we thought it was better to back up and regroup and work on building the program.”
There are many reasons that people decide not to play sports, such as a heavy academic workload or injuries. Sarah Shaff (’15), who played varsity basketball since she was a freshman and averaged 5.4 rebounds per game last year, thinks the lack of interest is multidimensional.
“It is a mixture of both our record and people not wanting to play,” she said.“We never had a very good record and people just don’t want to play if their friends decide not to play.”
While there was not enough girls interested to field a team, Shaff is very sad to not be able to play her senior year, even if the team has only fielded a 28-42 record in her three years, including a 8-13 record last year.
“I was really sad when I heard that there wouldn’t be a team,” she said. “I was sad that I had played without even knowing that it was my last game.”
Katie Sayers, a 6-2 senior who averaged 1.5 blocks per game last year, had mixed feelings when she heard that there was not going to be a team.
“I was kind of upset because I do love playing basketball,” she said. “At the same time I was kind of relived because I am hurt and I would be upset to have to sit on the bench while watching everyone else play.”
Sayers is suffering through a cracked sesamoid bone under her toe, which she injured during this past soccer season. These injuries typically take 4-8 weeks to heal according to summitmedicalgroup.com, which would have knocked her out for a good amount of the season. Even though she would not have been able to play, Sayers says that basketball was not the only component to being on the team that she will miss.
“I will miss the team bonding and the bus rides because it is good to hang out with everyone and have a good time,” she said. “Even though we didn’t win a lot of games, it was fun to travel with everyone.”
While some may worry about the future of the program, Lawrence has confidence that the ship will be righted next year.
“We have some specific goals for that program this year,” he said. “However, we will bring (varsity) back next year.”
The goals for the program include a junior varsity team, which consists of a mix of seven middle school students and three upper school students. Those upper school students are Enhkbileg Dendev (’17), Zhishan Yan (’17) and Madison Charles (’18). Dendev has had a very positive experience so far.
"Joining the JV basketball team has been great,” she said. “I’ve met some really amazing teammates and I am ecstatic to be on the team. So far the games and practices have been great and always have fun with the girls on the team.”
Shaff thinks the junior varsity team is the key to the revival of the program.
“They need to keep the interest of people coming up to the high school,” she said.