by Portia White
Orcas High School Senior
With just one week of practice followed by three weeks of games, girls and boys Vikings basketball have been hard at work preparing for their delayed and shortened season.
With nine games packed into the schedule, Orcas has to find ways to quickly work around any challenges and obstacles that may come their way. Coach Gregg Sasan, of the girls’ basketball team, says one challenge that the team will have to face is wearing masks.
“This is a very close contact sport, so it will be very interesting to see what happens when we finally get to play another team,” he sad. “Other than that, everyone is going to prepare just as we have for the short amount of time that we have.”
With time being another issue, Coach Ed Lago, the head boys basketball coach sees that as the main obstacle for the team.
“It [the shortness of the season] makes it more challenging to be able to get into our rhythm,” Lago said. “We have five practices before our first game instead of our regular 12 practices. We have only one month to our season and it will be an action-packed month to say the least, so exhaustion could be a factor.”
The delay of the season, as well as the current state of the pandemic, did result in some players deciding not to come back this year.
“There are some guys that have lost their passion for basketball altogether. Because of the delay, we definitely have lost a few key guys due to the postponement of the season,” said Lago, however both coaches and teams are very pleased and confident with the turnout and group that has come out to play.
“I’m excited for the turnout we have from older kids to the young kids,” Sasan said.
Like many other sports, basketball has been opened for eighth-graders to practice and possibly compete depending on numbers. With the groups, the older athletes will be able to show the underclassmen along with the eighth graders how the Viking basketball program works to be able to allow them to do the same in the years to come.
“All in all I feel fortunate that we have a season,” Lago said. “I feel fortunate that our administration and league have supported having a basketball season. I feel fortunate that they see the importance of sports in relation to the students’ mental health.”
With the delay of the season, many student-athletes were unsure if basketball was going to be allowed to happen. Now that it is here, the players are focused on making the best out of the season that they are being given.