my champions

When I was 13 years old...
I tried out for the Covenant Life School's Middle School Basketball team. Something happened that November that surprised the heck out of me: "I made the team!"

I had done ballet, swimming, and Irish dancing, but basketball was was freaky. If you had asked me to summarize my basketball experience in two words they would have been: Mr. Snyder. Mr. Snyder was my coach and the father of Kristen - a girl I didn't know that well, but she seemed fun to be around. Mr. Snyder single-handedly caused the loss of my baby fat. But that was just the start. Mr. Snyder even invented the "F-" just for me so I could have it on my written basketball test. Mr. Snyder was the scariest and smartest person I had ever met. By the end of the second practice he had 30+ offensive plays for me to memorize not to mention the alphabet out of bounds plays and color coordinated defensive presses. Mr. Snyder liked classical music and Jane Austen but we let him. Nobody made fun of Mr. Snyder without being made fun of for the rest of the season. It's almost embarrassing reading my journal entries from back then because I think every post mentions Mr. Snyder. I respected him so much.

My last year playing basketball I was coached by Laurie Marshall. I missed Mr. Snyder but he was always there for us, attending every practice he could. We made it really far - we made it all the way to the championship. It felt like a dream.

We lost. It felt awful. We had such a perfect season, it didn't seem possible. But we moved on. In high school I retired to the fan position. :)

I loved it. I got to sit and watch, not because I messed up play #99X and got subbed, but because I was just there for my girls as a fan. I wasn't covered with bruises or finger-nail scratches, I got to sit with my family and cheer myself hoarse. This year, I'm a senior and my girls are still at it back under Mr. Snyder again. This time they had Gazette photographers and college scouts at nearly every one of their games. I was so proud of them.

They creamed each team by 30+ points, yet remained humble and hard-working. I loved watching my girls work together. They mastered all of Mr. Snyder's middle-school offensive, out-of-bounds, and defensive plays, plus dozens more. They were undefeated. This past weekend they played Grace Brethren in the PVAC championship game.

They lost the game, but they played the hardest I've ever see them play. 4 of the 5 girls in the starting line-up fouled out within the last quarter. Some people take that and blame it on the refs calls, but I think it shows just how tough the girls, especially the seniors, played. I couldn't have respected their attitudes more after that game on Saturday. They kept it in perspective remembering it was "just a game" and thanking God for their near-perfect season. Girls, I don't think you realize just how many people you've impacted with this attitude. Gazette readers, middle school players, unsaved fans, opponents families, etc have all seen you display this attitude. But most of all I hope you sense God's pleasure in your behavior. I hope you remember your real victory over this world like it says in 1 John 5:4-5, "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" What's overcoming Grace Brethren when you've already overcome the world and will one day become one with Jesus, the Son of God? Of course it still means something and of course I'm going to be cheering my head off tomorrow at your first state tournament game, praying you'll win so you can rematch GB once again. But watching you win again won't change my mind, I couldn't be more proud of you guys. I love you Varsity Girls.

in spirit always...