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Reflecting on State Basketball

March 18, 2013
By Dean Wagenaar

First, congratulations to the Lady Knights, the Knights, and the Knight Cheer Squad on great seasons that culminated in a tremendous opportunity and experience in Spokane a few weeks ago. To be able to finish a long sports season’s worth of hard work by participating at the state level is a wonderful blessing and reward. 

Second, thank you students, parents, relatives, and fans for all the support and encouragement you provided to our athletes/coaches as they performed and instructed. 

Third, God has blessed us with traveling mercies, physical safety, and Christian fellowship throughout another winter season; may we give Him thanks and adore His holy name and character.

Fourth, after the reception Saturday evening I drove Bus #34 back to Sunnyside. The three hour ride allowed for much thinking, especially reflecting upon a few observations I have noticed while I have been a bit more removed from coaching this year. Let me list some thoughts and musings.

  • Being a head coach is incredibly time-consuming, not just during the official school season but also throughout the summer. If a person wants to be a competent coach, he/she better love the details of the sport and enjoy working untold hours with young people. As I have shared with a few, the time dedicated to coaching would much less demanding if all practices were early and all games at home.
  • Coaching is extremely emotional. The spectrum of emotions (high/low) fluctuate drastically and quickly. Place adolescents and charged emotions in close proximity, and a person can imagine the stress/reactions that can occur.
  • Coaching high school players during post-season competition when expectations are high adds another level of intensity and preparation.
  • Not to belabor a point, but our basketball players are extremely blessed to play at the State BB Tournament and for so many consecutive years. Just to share a dose of reality, the public school boys’ basketball team from my hometown, Sheldon, Iowa, earned a trip to the Iowa State BB Tournament this year for the first time in 35 years. Their current head coach has been coaching 33 years, and this was his first ever opportunity to coach at the Big Dance.

So many more thoughts could be shared, but hopefully these few enable us to again be thankful for the opportunities that we as parents and students enjoy with state athletic experiences.

In Jesus’ Name,
Dean Wagenaar