Academics and athletics in balance

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, December 15, 2012

King’s Fork swimming coach Katherine Beodeker explains a challenge that her swimmers face, as do undoubtedly most student-athletes in one way or another: Her team gets out of school at 1:50 p.m. on practice days, 25 minutes before the end of the actual school day.

“The challenge is really balancing school work, their classwork and then practice,” Beodeker said early last week. “Because if they don’t have the grades, then they can’t (swim). Obviously, like some of them today— t hey have to stay back and make up tests, because they have to make sure that they’re staying with their school work. That’s more important than sports. They’ve got to find a balance and a happy medium between the two.”

Expanding knowledge of the game

Despite having watched quite a bit of basketball in my life, there are many details of the game that I never bothered to learn. I have been getting a good education from different coaches, including Nansemond-Suffolk varsity boys’ head coach Randolph Davis, who taught me about what a motion offense is and what the “backdoor” is in basketball.


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Davis explained the backdoor as being a pass inside to a guy who is breaking for the basket.

I explained some aspects of the motion offense in a game article last week, but Davis also boiled it down in another way.

“As opposed to just letting people go one-on-one, we have everybody moving all the time,” he said.

In other words, it is true team basketball that takes advantage of all five players. Failure to do this can be spotted all the way up to the professional level, and while playing team basketball does not guarantee success, it is generally the only way to get it.

 All about patience

Lakeland head wrestling coach Jamaal Jones showed the importance of patience in developing his young talent earlier this week in matches against Hickory and Indian River. Though the Cavaliers lost as a team to both schools, Jones still took advantage of the opportunity to strengthen his team, which includes freshman 106-pounder Jalen Milawe. Milawe gave a confident, but honest appraisal of his two matches.

“I had put up a good fight, I would say, but no, I did not win,” he said.

While Jones figured this would be the case, since Milawe was going up against more experience, he saw how it could contribute to a more pleasant result in the future.

“By the end of the season, I’m sure that he will have progressed to a point of being able to wrestle at a greater level,” Jones said. “But as of right now I can only ask him to do his best and just continue to move forward in learning the sport.”