Archive for Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sleep deprived

Midnight practice forces coaches to work on short rest, increases players enthusiasm for basketball season

November 14, 2007

Coach Noah Simpson slept on the floor in his classroom.

Assistant coach Bruce Courtney slept on an air mattress in his office. Assistant coach Steve Myer got some shut-eye in the back of his van in the parking lot.

It's a tough job, but someone had to do it.

After the first Midnight Madness practice in Basehor-Linwood girl's basketball history, which occurred on Sunday, the team's coaching staff still had the task of working Monday.

While the girls were home in bed--students had the day off from school--the coaches were attempting to work on a few hours of sleep. The staff split up at 3:45 a.m. Monday and tried to find refuge for a few hours before the sun rose.

"I think that we were all very tired today, but it was worth it," Simpson said. "Our program has and will continue to benefit by Midnight Madness."

Save for the coach's sleep, the night was a resounding success.

The team put on skits for the crowd. They didn't disappoint, putting on a performance that Simpson characterized as hilarious.

"I haven't seen the girls have so much fun in a long time," Simpson said. "I know the crowd enjoyed it and it seemed as though everyone in the gym was having a great time. The skits were awesome and a great way for the community to see our girls having fun and being excited about the start of basketball season."

Simpson was pleased with the crowd, saying it exceeded his expectations--especially the eclectic group of supports that showed up including students, parents, community members and school board members.

Simpson said the energy of the team was very high, despite the late hour.

"The girls were working together as a team and having fun," Simpson said. "Everyone was very excited once the night started."

The coach understood he couldn't get perfection on the first night, telling his team after a three-on-three transition drill: "That drill did not look good, but that is okay. We are here to have fun right now and we will get to work after everyone leaves."

That work began when the public was dismissed from the gym. The girls continued to practice throughout the early morning hours.

"I have to give all the credit to this great group of young women for being able to turn the switch and work hard in the closed practice portion of the night," Simpson said.

After a night of hard work, some parents of players came into the school and cooked and served a feast including biscuits and gravy, fruit, scrambled

eggs, milk and juice.

"What a true credit to the parents of this program," Simpson said. "I can't thank them enough for their support and willingness to stay up late and cook and serve breakfast. This was a great way for the parents to show their support of these young women and the girls and coaches were very grateful. It was a wonderful breakfast."

The first year head coach said he would love to make this event a staple of the program. Luckily, in Courtney, an assistant boys coach when Simpson played in high school, and Myer, a coach with more than 20 years of experience, Simpson has a pair of assistants who can match his devotion. And his lack of sleep.

"I am very lucky to have such a great staff," Simpson said. "They are a lot of fun to work with and have great knowledge of the game and know how to relate to players."

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