Proud to Say: South Shore sports are finally ramping up again
Finally the winter sports season has kicked in and I can get out to some events. I spent most of the weekend at the Whittell Winter Invitational last weekend, hung out with South Tahoe’s wrestling team and shared a gondola with the South Tahoe ski team. With things just getting going, I figure it’d be nice to touch on the different things happening in the South Tahoe sports world.
Sport Banners and photos at South Tahoe High School
The photos and banners will go up, according to South Tahoe’s athletic director Don Borges. It’s just a matter of time. But when word got out the photos and banners wouldn’t be raised, whether true or not, a huge response from those in support of the memorabilia came pouring in.
I chatted with Jerod Hasse, former South Tahoe basketball great and North Carolina assistant, on Thursday who has a great story to go with the photos and banners. His 1992 state title team has a banner hanging, but he was more interested in the photo of his brother, Steven, that hung in the gym. Both Jerod and Steven spoke in their sister’s class a while back, Jerod talking about playing ball in college, and Steven about his career path.
“Then he spoke afterwards and basically told the kids what it meant to serve your country and I think it really impacted them,” he said.
Jerod says those photos on the wall show what a kid from South Tahoe can do, whether playing for an elite basketball team or serving in the military.
“I think it’s great. My biggest thing, is there is an opportunity to put role models up there and give something for the young kids to shoot for themselves,” he said.
No snow means no ski events
Without the white stuff, several high school ski events have been canceled. South Tahoe was suppose to be at Alpine Meadows on Thursday, but didn’t have much to race on. According to coach Mike Shreeve it’s going to take more than one big storm to get them going.
“Until we get more snow and ski areas are able to designate other hills of us to ski on, we have to postpone,” he said. “It’s not going to take huge storm, it’s going to take several small storms to build up a nice base.
“We need a good base, we need about 18 of base and we are in business.”
You can look for a preview on the teams in the next week or so.
Whittell girls’ basketball
I had the opportunity to watch several of their games this weekend, including their three matches during the Whittell tourney. I walked away impressed with the teams ability to comeback in two games at the tourney, and of course their two standout players, Emily and Amanda Harris.
I thought the twin sisters where pretty good at volleyball, but they seem to be even better basketball players. But there’s one problem – at the moment they seem to be the only serious threat on the Lady Warriors team.
Now, that’s not to knock anyone else on the court. This team is going to get much better as the season goes on, but other players are going to have to step up if they hope to go deep in the playoffs. Two players capable of doing that are Tori Jimenez and Jenny Shepack. Jimenez makes this team instantly better by playing more aggressive in all aspects: dribbling, passing, defense and scoring. Shepack simply needs a few more games under her belt and will naturally get better. She’s a good athlete with an obvious competitive spirit, but she is new to basketball and often times rushes her shots and will get called for little things.
When I first interviewed the team, they were fairly skeptical about their chances of winning, it’s good to see the confidence rising.
Whittell boys’ basketball
This is a team of athletes, who are gradually becoming basketball players. With a first year head coach, their third, there is some obvious growing pains. But without a doubt they are getting better. Coach Matt Bryant is leaning heavily on Austin Neil, who makes plays happen. Sometimes he’ll let the game get the best of him, but when he keeps his cool and is in the zone, he can change the momentum of the game.
Austin Buyak has been a surprise for Bryant. I don’t think there was any doubt that he was going to contribute, but he put up 51 points at the Whittell tourney. He won’t always be the biggest guy on the court, but those bigger than him are going to have a tough time with his athleticism.
Garrett Bronken is another guy to watch. I don’t think he’s found his grove yet, but I saw him break a few ankles and get some key points at important times. He is just lacking consistency at the moment, but was one of the better ball handlers at the tourney.
The thing is though, these three guys haven’t been in the grove at the same time yet. If they’re all playing good basketball at the same time during the game, they’re going to win some games.
I haven’t seem much of South Tahoe, and what I have was fairly early on in the season and didn’t seem indicative of their respective squads. They’ve been away for a while, and will continue to be, but we should get an idea of the teams soon.
South Tahoe wrestling looking good
This team has a promising season ahead of them, something that hasn’t been the case for a while now. With three guys undefeated heading into their douglas meet on Wednesday, they might not only have a few state qualifiers in their ranks, but maybe even some medalist.
What I like from this team though, was how much fun they were having at practice, while getting work done.
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