Boys basketball team learned, offered much this season

Congratulations to the Del Norte boys varsity basketball team for another successful year. Thank you, boys, for sticking together through the most abnormal season.

It began, ready or not, without five teammates, due to a very long successful football season (defending league champions). Time proved to be a factor, early on, as the adjoining five teammates (three juniors and two sophomores) adjusted to the round ball, its plays and conditioning. There were five returning seniors who did not play football and were ready from day one. These seniors played, practiced and were a part of the best defense in the league last season. Most of this year's 13-member team were young and somewhat inexperienced at the varsity level of play for basketball. Nonetheless, the team would defend its league championship.

But this year was special, in regards to Del Norte High School history. The chance to do what hasn't been done: back-to-back football championships with back-to-back basketball championships.

This could only be achieved through good, old fashioned, old school teamwork. The type of teamwork that produces sweat in practices as well as in games. The type of teamwork that does not display individualism on the court and especially off the court. The type that produces an unselfish spirit, eager and self motivated. The type of teamwork that demands respect and commitment and self-control from every player, every coach and every parent, unconditionally.

The game isn't just the ball and hoop, the rules and refs, the band and cheerleaders, the scoreboard and opponent. It isn't the wins and losses, the championships and white stars. It's how you andquot;play.andquot; It's friendships and relationships. It's support from your friends, from your teammates, from your coaches, from your family and community and from that noisy fan in the bleachers. It's about the ones that no longer can attend the game. Sometimes it's just the ones that ask, andquot;How are they doing?andquot; Basketball, the game, is only a tool. It's how we andquot;playandquot; as a player, as a coach, as a parent, as a teacher and as a supporter. In life, it's how we refocus, rebound and shoot again. I wish the best for the boys next season.

I would like to thank the coaches for the Class of 2007: Blaine Lopez, Dave Brouse, Greg Yeager, Scott Alexander, Johnny Maready, Kirk Burrows, Dale Thomas and especially Jim Lund. Jim has coached most of these boys at the Junior High level where they've learned the fundamentals of the game and the lessons and values of andquot;teamandquot; and andquot;teammate.andquot; Thank You timekeepers, band, cheer, The Daily Triplicate, KPOD and the Voice of the Warriors and to the many that are behind the scenes. Thanks to the fans, the team has the best home gym in the league to play in.

To the senior players, it has been simply a pleasure watching you the last seven seasons. You experienced success early and often, ever maintaining your integrity and respect for your team and coaches and the schools you represented. Your opponents probably knew you best and are probably scratching their heads, trying to figure it all out. You have worked hard, and are respected. You have represented your schools honorably. You didn't quit, even when it seemed others quit on you. You were faithful to your school, to your coaches, to your teammates. You have, for many years, shared your time on the court so others would benefit. You have the heart of a champion and the spirit of a true leader. All you ever wanted to play was basketball and to some day play for Del Norte. Remember ... it's just a game.

John Daniels

Crescent City