Not many students can say they made the varsity level freshman year. However, this is exactly what basketball players Sydney Avrin, Brooke Luitjens, and Whitney Jacob did.
“I think it’s a big accomplishment to be on varsity. Not a lot of freshmen get to be on varsity,” Avrin said.
Challenges come with being on the team. The girls are playing against juniors and seniors on the varsity level. The older players have had more experience than the freshmen girls.
“[A challenge] is trying to keep up with all of the girls who are a lot taller than me,” Jacob said.
“Trying to keep up with all of the older players [is a challenge]” Luitjens said.
Many freshmen don’t make the varsity team because they have not yet gained enough experience playing the sport in high school.
“I think there’s more pressure on you in varsity than JV. We have to be better leaders on varsity,” Avrin said.
“JV is more like our eighth grade Gold Crown team, Varsity is more advanced,” Luitjens said.
The team can have up to three practices during the week and practice on saturday morning. The girls play two games a week. Basketball and school takes up most of their time.
“[Its difficult] balancing homework, family life, and being a team player,” Avrin said.
“It’s a really big commitment and you have to be determined to complete [school] and playing on varsity,” Jacob said.
The freshman girls have put in time to play basketball, do homework, and study for tests.
“The [freshmen] provide much added depth and for them to have four more years, it’s pretty special,” Coach Eli Moore said.
“[I attribute my success to] my coaches, my family, my hard work, and my dedication,” Avrin said.
“My dad because he’s always been one of my coaches and he has taken time to teach me,” Luitjens said. As of Feb. 10 she has had 35 assists, and she is tied for the highest number this season with Kristen Gallagher according to maxpreps.com.
“[I attribute my success to] my mom and Luitjens because he is also my coach,” Jacob said. She has scored 202 points in the season, the highest score for the entire varsity team.
The varsity basketball team’s overall record is currently 10-9 with four games left in the season. They play Douglas County on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.