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THE HAWKEYE

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SPORT SPOTLIGHT: UHS Girls Varsity Basketball learns more than you’d think at practice

SPORT SPOTLIGHT: UHS Girls Varsity Basketball learns more than you’d think at practice

How does a basketball practice turn into a history lesson? At UHS the Girls Varsity Basketball team is coached by Joe Blaser, one of our very own history teachers. Besides teaching lessons, he learns them daily from his team. One of the biggest lessons he learned this season is, “That growth and success are not always linear.  These two things take many shapes and forms and it is not always easy to achieve growth and success,” He stated. 

 

When asked about her favorite memory of this past season; Sophomore Ella Crawmer began reminiscing on one specific practice. “Towards the beginning of the season, we were scheduled to have a regular two hour practice. Someone must have asked him [Blaser] a question because he started ranting, going on and on about things like the civil war and money. Not much about basketball at all. I think that day we only practiced for about thirty minutes of our usual 2 hours.” Crawmer said.

 

This coaching tactic may be unseen but it is obvious Blaser knows what he’s doing. The team had some pretty big wins this year going 58-16 against Gov. Thomas Johnson HS in late January.  They also had some good competition in Oakdale and managed to pull out a 41-40 win. 

 

Coach Blaser is constantly inspired and impressed by his athletes this year, when asked about his favorite thing about his team this season, he didn’t hesitate to respond with, “Even during some hard games or hard moments of the season they continued to show up.  They never backed away from challenges.”

 

He shared that the key to his team’s successes is the “contributions from so many different people.” 

 

As well as his team’s ability to overcome setbacks. “We were down 5 points with 1 minute to go against Oakdale and we came back to win the game.  We played great defense and hit some really important free throws to finish the comeback.” He shared. 

 

This season hasn’t been all winning, but it’s all in playing a sport. The team stays positive, taking energy from the crowd and staying focused on strategy. Blaser can be seen putting his all into the game on the sidelines among the bench motivating their teammates. 

 

The bench can always be seen standing up as their teammates go for a 3, cheering as loud as possible and encouraging the 5 on the court to never quit. 

 

Although the girls just had their last regular season game, playoffs start on Wed, Feb 28th and they are ready. They train throughout the year, preparing for the winter. Lookout for the Hawks to win some playoff games very soon!

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About the Contributors
Rayna Smith, reporter
Rayna Smith is a tenth grader here at UHS. Outside of school she does cheer, track, she enjoys hiking, surfing, snowboarding, and really anything in nature. She first started cheer two years ago, at the beginning of high school and this is her first year of track. She is a pole vaulter for the track team at UHS. Her interest in these activities came from her background in gymnastics. She did gymnastics since she could walk. She said this background gave her a base of strength and flexibility, two skills needed for her current activities, all she had to do was adapt her skills and put them to new uses. Regarding her future, Rayna is done with cheer and is interested in continuing pole vault in college. She hopes to attend FAU, Florida Atlantic University, and work in either criminal psychology or marine biology. The class she loved most in high school was her freshman year science class with Ms. Sollenberger. This really sparked Rayna’s interest in science. Other than her freshman year, Rayna hopes to spend this year achieving her goals. putting forth most of her effort to pole vaulting and becoming more serious about it. She also wants to focus on herself. For Rayna this includes keeping her grades up and maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends.
Mackenzie Massey, Reporter
Mackenzie Massey is a sophomore at Urbana High School. She is involved with the Urbana volleyball team as well as a club team. Her passion for volleyball was sparked after messing around with a volleyball with her friends throughout the summer, as well as her mom who played the sport before her. “I play on small teams and we are all very connected, it’s nice.” When I asked Mackenize which color best describes her as a person she answered without hesitation, green. She shared that there are many different shades of green which she can connect to. “I can be like dark green, very calm. But I can also be like bright green, very energetic”. So far, Mackenzie has loved her experience at UHS, it’s where she has found many relationships and gained many experiences. She enjoys all genres of music, what she listens to is usually decided by her mood. Some of her favorite artists consist of Taylor Swift and Frank Ocean. Her favorite class so far has been her engineering class with Mr. Brubaker, as well as her ceramics class. Her biggest strength is her ability to stay calm in dire situations and her positive attitude. She stated, “Not a lot throws me off so I like to be a person people can rely on to talk to.” This then sparked the next question of future careers. Being a therapist interests Mackenzie because of the passion she has for talking to people, which she is also excited to use through her next journey in the UHS Hawkeye.     

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