On Saturday, February 17, our varsity girls won the CSAA Basketball Tournament hosted by Tri-City Christian School in Conover, NC, 46-38. This was the first time our girls had ever competed in this tournament or conference. Ric Nelson, Coach and Head of School, said, “The tournament week was a crazy amount of travel, but it provided more team time together. I just sat back and watched them love each other. When we won the championship, I could finally enjoy watching the celebration and reward for the hard work they put in.”
The road to the championship game wasn’t easy. No, it included that hard work Mr. Nelson mentioned. Here is a peek into this team’s season in review:
Mr. Nelson said they wanted to keep this year’s theme simple: have fun, and keep getting better. According to him, the girls truly enjoyed each other; they enjoyed competing against each other in practice; they enjoyed competing together in games. And that made their goals easier to meet.
Losing 5 seniors and a total of 8 players from last year brought its own challenges, but returning players and 6 new players came together and found a way to start working and winning. “I think the girls did a tremendous job moving the team forward after a disappointing loss in last year’s semifinal game,” said Nelson. The team finished 19-1 this season.
Another challenge for this program was the question of whether or not to change conferences this season so that all of our players could have the chance to play, including the international students. It was discussed and carefully considered, and it wasn’t made by any one person. In the end, Coach Nelson allowed the leaders on the team to make the final call.
Last year, I feel the returning players helped make a tough decision. Were we going to stay in the conference for a final year, or were we going to play with our friends? I would have been content with however the Lord allowed us to finish. I was very pleased that He rewarded Ashlyn, Karissa, Hannah, and Jessica for their decision. I was pleased that He rewarded Geassy and Babalu (Brazilian international students) with a great season and championship as well. – Nelson
The heart of the administration and coaching staff here at Friendship is that athletics means nothing if we don’t remember our ultimate goals. Mr. Nelson finished out his thoughts on the season with the following quote: “I pray that each of the girls learned a valuable lesson – each person is important to God. Eternity is more important than temporal. Our decision to accept and follow the true God of the Bible is the greatest championship there is.”