Over the years I've noticed a disturbing trend in many high school students. In fact, I would argue that this trend is something that is running rampant throughout American society in general. It's the idea that people feel entitled to success without putting in the time and effort to become successful.
We live in a "microwave society" - meaning, we are used to instant gratification. We really don't have to wait on anything anymore. I guess that is ok when you are talking about fast food, computers, and things of that nature. But, it seems to me that everyone wants success without paying the price. I am fortunate to have a bunch of players in my program that buy in to the following:
The Most Valuable Thing In The World
I am the most desirable thing in life. Without me no one can be healthy, happy, or useful.... without me, the hidden wealth and vast resources of this earth would have no value.
Men and women who try to get along without me are characterless, selfish, undeveloped, useless, and unprofitable members of society.
I am behind every fortune, every art and science, every achievement, every triumph of man.
Rich men and poor men alike often try to find substitutes for me, hoping thereby to secure a larger measure of happiness, peace and satisfaction, but they are always bitterly disappointed. Instead of gain, every substitute for me brings them loss.
As the creator is the greater than the creature, so I am greater than wealth, power, fame, learning, or any other acquired possession or quality of man, because I am the source from which he acquired them.
I am WORK.
I'm sorry that I'm a little late on this one, but here is the All-Sectional Team:
Mitch Witteveen Central Catholic
Chandler Spring Covington
Pete Metzinger Central Catholic
Keiontre Wilkey Rockville
Brayden Woodard North Vermillion
Lance Hopkins Rockville
Jacob Earl North Vermillion
Jackson Anthrop Central Catholic
Jordan Ahrens Covington
Hayes Cronk Central Catholic
We had a great season this year, but I think everyone on our team and staff would trade all the individual awards and honors that we recieved for a lengthy post-season tournament run. As we prepare for next season we want to do everything we can to get ourselves "tournament ready."
One thing we need to do is improve is our schedule. We were often criticized for playing a weak schedule this year. People accused us of having an inflated record built up against inferior competition. On one hand I take exception to that, on the other hand I can also see the point of the that argument. First of all our schedule was probably a little underated. People usually use the Sagarin rankings to grade a team's strength of schedule. There is no denying that our schedule was rated 374 out of 417, but much of that had to do with a handful of teams on our schedule having down years. We played 7 games vs 2A opponents, 3 games vs 3A schools, and we played 1 game against a 4A school. Over half of our games were against schools who were in a larger class. Another fact that is overlooked: we played 10 games vs teams that finished with 10 wins or more. Not everyone on our schedule was having a down year.
Even though I don't think our schedule was as weak as some would argue, I do believe that it would be in our best intrests to find some better competition. You know the old adage, "If you want to be the best, you have to play the best." Its not as easy as it sounds. Changing the schedule at the high school level is very difficult. Contracts are often times agreed on for 4 years at a time. Plus, at a small school we often times are forced to ride the "talent wave." Being "over scheduled" in those rebuilding years can be tough. So, I think you are always better off thinking "long-term" when making changes
I have to give our athletic director, Randy Tolley, all the credit for the changes that we were able to make. He and I discussed the idea of beefing up our schedule as early as this past January, but understanding the obstacles in our way, I wasn't too optimistic that we would be able to do much. I guess I underestimated Mr. Tolley and his ability to work his magic. Honestly, I think the changes he made to the schedule are a perfect fit for our team this year and also moving forward after this season. To make room for the new games we had to drop South Newton, Schlarman, and Faith Christian.
The biggest addition to the schedule is the holiday tournament at Highland. Highland is a 4A school in northwestern Indiana- better known as The Region. The tournament is an 8-team tournament that will be held on December 26th and 27th. Besides ourselves and Highland the tournament line-up also includes South Bend Clay (4A), Hobart (4A), Hammond Morton (4A), Hammond Clark (3A), Griffith (3A), and Lake Station (2A). Playing teams from the Region will certainly expose our kids to a more physical brand of basketball. I think that experience will only benefit our team come tournament time.
The other addition to the schedule is West Lafayette (3A). They were on our schedule until a couple of years ago. At that time Lafayette Central Catholic entered their conference and WL needed our date to add LCC to the schedule. I'm glad that it worked out that we could start playing West Lafayette again. Coach Wood's teams are known for their defensive toughness (they held LCC to a season low 29 points this year!) and I can't imagine that we would play a more physical or well-coached team in the post season than West Lafayette.
All in all I think the changes to the schedule will be good for us. But, like I said to my team. Just beefing up the schedule is not an automatic answer to post-season success. We have a lot of work to do in the off-season to prepare ourselves for the grind of next year. Hopefully our players will use the challenge of performing against stiffer competition next season as a motivator this spring and summer.
Although it is dissapointing to be in the "off-season" already, it is nice to have some time to reflect on what a great season we had, and to enjoy some well-deserved accolades earned by our players.
Monday was an exceptionally good day for our kids. It started off with Jordan Ahrens and Chandler Spring receiving their invitations to participate in the Indidana Basketball Coaches Association Top 100 Underclassmen Workout in July. This is a very prestigious event where Jordan and Chandler will have the opportunity to comptete against the very best players in the state of Indiana. Very few players from small schools get invitations to this event. In fact, I've never had a player invited to this workout, so we feel quite honored to have two players participating this year.
Monday evening coaches from the Wabash River Conference met to select the all conference teams and the all Bi-County teams. What a year we had in the WRC! Honestly, I don't remember our league ever being as strong from top to bottom as it was this year. 5 of the 8 teams in the conference finshed above .500 for the season. Besides the Trojans, Fountain Central (15-7), Rockville (15-10), North Vermillion (13-11) and Seeger (10-9) all finished with winning records. Attica nearly pulled off the feat by finishing 9-12 while playing a very tough schedule.
It stands to reason with all the good teams.... there must be a lot of good players in our conference. With that being said, I felt fortunate to land three players to the All-Conference team: Jordan Ahrens, Travis Coleman, and Chandler Spring. Not only did they recieve all conference honors, but each of them was also named to the Bi-County team.