Archive for Thursday, October 23, 2003

Opinion: Bobcats need to believe

October 23, 2003

During the Lansing tournament on Sept. 13 the Bobcats volleyball team had a lunch break after starting the tournament 2-2.

The players sat in Lansing's wrestling room, munching on sandwiches and teasing coach Lisa Phelps about her gardening.

After a while someone turned on a stereo and some of the players, led by junior Malorie Morman, began lip-synching and dancing to R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."

Sure, they were just goofing around, but after that break the Bobcats really did fly.

They won their next three matches, taking fifth place in the tournament and hoisting a trophy for a triumphant team picture.

Maybe the Bobcats should reserve that same wrestling room when they head to Lansing for the Sub-state playoffs on Saturday. They seem to have forgotten that they can fly.

Throughout the second half of the season the Bobcats' communication has broken down, and they've been trying to dig themselves out of holes in too many games.

Worse yet, lately they seem to get down on themselves as soon as the match starts to go the other team's way.

But these aren't the real Bobcats. The real Bobcats were the ones hoisting that trophy at Lansing. The real Bobcats were Morgan Kenney and Malorie Morman setting up Kelly Schaeffer, Jackie White, Caitlin McCarty and Katie Burchfield for thunderous kills that sprayed to all corners of the court.

The real Bobcats were Terra Nichols desperately digging everything at the back line, and dropping perfect serves where no one could touch them.

The real Bobcats were Alex Jeannin, Megan Krouse and Amanda Hughes coming in for a key block or hit, or whatever the team happened to need at the time.

The real Bobcats were playing De Soto on Sept. 23 when they found themselves down 3-18 in the second game after winning the first.

Those Bobcats never quit; they never thought they were out of the game.

They outscored the Wildcats 21-7 in a dominating run down the stretch.

In the end they lost 25-23, but put the fear of Basehor in the hearts of the Wildcats, who barely put up a fight in the third game.

What happened to those Bobcats?

It's hard to say.

Somewhere along the line a few bad breaks and a few tough losses started to snowball.

Pretty soon they were pressing too hard, trying to win the match on every play. As things got worse they got down on themselves and forgot how good they really are.

But one of the beautiful things about high school sports is that everyone makes the playoffs, and the Bobcats now have a clean slate to work with, though they will probably be seeded against a very good team.

They have to remember how well they played early in the season, how they were clutch and nearly unbeatable at the end of close games.

They have to remember that they have enough skill to win the next point, no matter what happened during the match before, the game before or even the point before. They have to remember that they can fly.

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