Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Relentless Opponent

Last Friday might've been the most important moment of our young season. The eighth graders received their first trimester grades. Our district's eligibility rules state that players must carry a 2.0 GPA with no more than one "U" in conduct. For our first game, four potential players were ineligible based on the last report card of their seventh grade year, so I was hoping for some good news for them while keeping my fingers crossed against any bad news for players who were already eligible.

Teachers handed in their grades at 8:00 AM, so I was able to get some preliminary grades on the four boys I was worried about. We lost one of the four, which is a shame since I really think that particular boy would've benefitted from being on the team, but there was good news. The one area of concern facing our team had been the lack of a strong point guard; now we have one. Bernard is a boy who would've made the team last year had his grades been acceptable, and I was worried that he would fall short again this year. He's in my English class, and I wasn't terribly impressed with his performance through the first twelve weeks of school. But since I started talking about tryouts a few weeks ago, he suddenly started getting serious. He apparently did the job in his other classes as well, because he ended up with a fairly decent report card. Assuming he brings me his physical form today, he'll be starting at the point tonight.

Loyal readers (or is it just a single reader?) might remember that I never made a final cut. Instead, we've been carrying twenty-one boys to make sure that we weren't decimated by grade concerns. As it turned out, we only lost two or three players, so we still have eighteen or nineteen boys. Originally I had planned to make another cut if necessary, but I can't bring myself to do it, especially since some of the boys who would be on the chopping block actually played significant minutes last week. It just wouldn't seem fair. So instead of breaking hearts, I chose to go out and buy a few more jerseys. With such short notice, they'll have numbers but no logo. I'm certain the boys will complain, at least a bit, but they'll definitely prefer this to the alternative.