Local sports media fades away

Oct 17, 2019 | Basketball, Inside the Bubble, News, Sports

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ast year’s varsity girls basketball team was a close-knit group of 12 athletes. They bonded on and off the court, even organizing a Secret Santa-esque sock exchange among players. This year, their ranks have swelled to 18, and they’re advocating for the addition of a JV team to accommodate the influx of interested students, raising concerns about skill level and a crowded bench.

“It’s not feasible to have everybody on one team, especially in harder games, where only seven or eight kids play,” Alice Enger ‘20 said. “For the kids who don’t have a lot of playing time, they won’t actually get better.”

Enger is the varsity girls basketball team captain and Athletics Representative, and has played basketball with Nueva for the past three years. She has been meeting with Chris Wade, Director of Athletics, for the last month to talk about the formation of the team. Enger sees the addition of a JV team as a way to add stratification and accommodate the variance in skill level. 

“With just one team for everyone, we’re not really having a cohesive practice where everyone is doing the same thing,” Enger said. “The coach might assign some of us harder drills to do separately…It’s mostly the higher-level players who want to get better, and that’s where the dissatisfaction is.”

I think Alice, as one of our team captains, has really been pushing us to speak up for what we want.

Anya Patel '22

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with other schools, and planning transportation—Wade and the coaches need to be sure that the team’s numbers won’t dwindle within the first few weeks so they can commit to facilities arrangements. Additionally, within Nueva’s division, only two other schools are sponsoring JV teams: Castilleja and Summit Shasta. The former is also feeling out commitment, said Wade.

Members of the team are slightly frustrated due to the slow pace.
“While I recognize that there is some add and drop that occurs around the start of sports seasons,” Mazlish said, “I find it frustrating that Nueva would choose to not push to make a girls JV team because they expect that girls won’t show.” The team had been vocal from the start, reaching out to their coach and Wade with their ideas, 

I want to apologize for the misunderstanding of slowing down and making the process more pragmatic. I know we are in a can-do community, but since we have time, it’s better to stop, look, evaluate, and then go through with it.

Chris Wade

Director of Athletics

but were disappointed with the speed of the process and the lack of information.

Patel recalled an instance in which the girls team was accidentally left out of team photos, and it was up to the students to secure their spot on a yearbook page along with the boys. According to Patel, few of the athletes felt “confident enough to go and get what we need.” 

Anya Patel ‘22, another returning team member, agreed. “It’s intimidating being on the court that first year,” she said.

Enger acknowledged that the athletics department has welcomed the students’ self-advocacy and have been “very open to talking about everything.”

Wade explained how the slower, more thoughtful approach reflected Nueva’s vision for the athletics department, and how he wanted to be able to accommodate everyone. 

“The goal is for us to find a place for every student interested in athletics… this extra stratification will really help our program out,” Wade said.

This coming season, there are two games confirmed for the new girls’ JV/developmental basketball team. The goal is to have a 7-10 game schedule locked down by the time the season starts.