By: Ben Elliott
Basketball season has been upon us now for about a month or so. Without bias of course I must admit I’m quite fond of this time of year. It’s the holiday gift giving season that is spent with the people you love the most. But out of all of those feelings there’s one that sticks out the most to me personally.
That feeling is none other than the start of basketball season.
I’ve always held a special attachment to the game of basketball. It’s the only game that you don’t need others to play. Throughout my lifetime it’s provided a great release and joy that hasn’t left me, well, at least not at this point in my 20 years on earth. And just like with football season, I’m fortunate enough to be able to be on the Girls Basketball staff here at BHS.
With all of that background established, it’s time to get into our mid-(ish) season recap so far with over a month gone.
Starting with the boys, they sit at 9-8 on the season. The early gauntlet is always a tough one for Coach Walton and company. Every year a holiday tournament is played here at BHS which always features great talent. This year the tournament featured the Flames of Eastern Mennonite, led by Head Coach Eli Crawford. That line is surreal to type considering the great career Crawford had at EMU. Some of my earliest basketball memories come from watching Coach Crawford and the Royals play. The next team in the tournament is Monticello, led by Head Coach Gary Spry. Lastly, Potomac Falls joins us every year here in the valley. They’re led by tremendous Head Coach Jeff Hawes.
I always loved playing in this tournament dating back to my days with the Boys Basketball team. The atmosphere is always great and it was always exciting to play teams that we may not be as familiar with. We played in some exciting tournaments throughout my years in the program yet unfortunately we were never able to win the whole thing. That changed this year. The boys took two tremendous victories over Monticello and Eastern Mennonite to claim the title. My good friend Caleb Barnes was named MVP of the tournament and Coach Walton picked up his astronomical 200th career win!
Since the tournament the boys have played in some tough games. A couple losses on the road early on in the year are always hard but, I’m sure the coaching staff would tell you that they’d rather have those losses at the beginning of the year rather than later in the season.
Coach Walton and Jameson are two of my heroes when it comes to the game of basketball. If there’s any two guys that can motivate a group of players to win it’s those two.
Now for my Lady Gobblers.
Led by second year Head Coach Jeremy Fulk and his assistants, Janna Grandle, Willie Tinnell, Sarah Wimer and myself, the Gobblers have had a great season to this point, and have posted a 10-8 record on the season. The Lady Gobblers have already surpassed the total of victories from last season.
It’s been a wild ride so far admittedly. There are a bunch of nerves that you fight through mentally at the beginning of every season. You wonder to yourself if you’ve done enough personally as a coach to get your kids ready. But the second the first whistle blows you’re off and running. We’ve played in a ton of close games thus far. A couple of which we’ve dropped on the road however, we’ve also won a couple tight games at home to some really really tough teams.
Racking up a couple great wins against some great teams outside of the area will give us great points in the standings as we inch closer and closer to the Regional Tournament.
We’re young however, I have nothing but faith in our team as we move forward. I think the sky's the limit for us this season and there’s no telling where we’ll go by the end of the year.
Overall Broadway high school basketball as a unit is in a great place. Both teams are primed for the playoffs and both look forward to some great games ahead.
For my next part of the story for the month I wanted to highlight a great young man in our community who’s going through a tough time at the moment.
Lucas Frank, an 8th grader at J. Frank Hilliard Middle School and a member of the JV Football team here at BHS was recently diagnosed with Leukemia in December. Lucas is a tough tough kid who I know will fight day and night to come out on top of this horrible disease. The BHS Football Team does their “Gold Out” Football game as a fundraiser for Childhood Cancer, and now that the disease has hit closer to home, we are committed to helping Lucas and his family as they fight this battle.
Lucas keep pounding buddy! We love you and have your back as a community during this difficult time.
There are various activities taking place to help Lucas and his family throughout their battle. Coach Grogg has already played a big part in raising money, and other programs in the school and in the community have gotten involved as well. New BHS Varsity Baseball Coach, George Laase, is setting up a Super Bowl Fundraiser and community businesses have hosted fundraisers as well. Continue to be on the lookout for more fundraisers taking place throughout the coming months as Lucas continues his battle.